Well, we made it through our first week of full-time day care. I confess that I've cried every day this week, both after dropping him off AND in the evenings when I'm home with him.
I know he's probably just going through a phase, but I feel like this week he avoids looking at me, and when he does look at me he just won't smile. I can't help feeling like being away from him all day is destroying our bond. All summer, I was the first thing he saw when he woke up, and he would instantly smile when he saw me. Now I'm lucky to get a smile when I put him in his car seat, but that's the only time he really shows me that he recognizes me. To make matters worse, when my husband walks into the room, Nicholas immediately follows him with his eyes (something he used to do with me) and he smiles when my husband plays with him.
I can't stop these thoughts I have every day...I find it so disheartening that I am raising other people's children while strangers are raising my son. And as I do planning for the school year, I'm reminded of how much I have to teach and how long the school year is. Nicholas will be almost a year old when school is out and I'm able to spend all my time with him. I feel like there are so many milestones I might miss out on.
Nicholas has been sleeping in our bed quite a bit lately. This is partly because he sleeps better next to me (this is the only thing that keeps me going sometimes); partly because it's convenient to nurse him there in the middle of the night; and partly because I want to spend as much time with him as possible. So for now he sleeps the first stretch in his crib and then my husband brings him to me when he cries and he spends the rest of the night in our bed. I know it's taboo, but it's working for us. I just wish he would smile at me when he wakes up like he used to.
I keep reminding myself that it's possible that he doesn't look at me as much because he doesn't need to. I read on a forum on Circle of Moms that when babies feel safe with their moms they will spend more time looking around and less time looking at Mom. I know for a fact that his eyesight is getting much better, so I need to keep reminding myself that he knows I'm holding him and he feels secure enough to explore his surroundings. I also know that he can sense my mood, but it's really hard to fake happiness when I'm singing to him or playing with him and he just doesn't seem to care.
I knew starting day care would make me sad a lot. I'm not sure if this is actual PPD or if it will get better soon...but so far I'm not too hopeful.
**My husband found this post on Circle of Moms this morning and showed me. It helps a little to know that other moms experience periods of feeling like their babies don't recognize or love them. It's worth reading if you are experiencing similar feelings.