For me, it was last week. D is almost 16 months now. At first I was going to stay home for a few years. But financially, we aren't in a good position to do that. Then I was going to bring him with me while I nanny. But then we got an awesome spot in a fantastic daycare and realize how much D enjoys large groups vs smaller ratios. Then I was going to make a career change. But that just wasn't in the cards.
I'm finding it hard to adjust to returning to work. I wake up, get ready for work and kiss my son goodbye and head to work, just like many other moms. But then it's a bit different. I arrive at work and spend my day playing, snuggling, feeding and teaching a baby. And oh, how I miss my child. Sometimes there's even a feeling of guilt while I'm laughing at something this little boy did. And when I'm finally home, twelve hours after leaving, I get about half an hour to play and feed my son before he heads to bed. There are times when he cries in the middle of the night and we bring him into our bed that I can't help but snuggle up and soak in what time I can get with him - even if he's unconscious.
I am lucky enough to have gotten this position. While it's 10 hour days, it's only three days a week (two from now until mid-January) so I'll get to have a day for errands/cleaning and a Mommy-and-D date day and still enjoy the weekend as a family.
I think there will always be a part of me that feels guilty for looking after someone else's kid while mine is in daycare. But I'm so thankful for the daycare that D attends. He loves spending the day with his seven wonderful friends and three awesome teachers. He thrives in a group setting and that's not something I could give him to the same degree if I stayed home with him. When I'm missing him, I just have to remind myself that he's probably chasing his girlfriend in the yard or making a beautiful craft to bring home or learning how to share.
Or I just remind myself that whenever I get home and he hasn't seen me all day, his face lights up and he turns into Mr. Snuggles. Nothing beats a long workday like those little arms around me.