A Letter to My Son: Month 4

Dear Cooper,

Last month, I told you that I returned to work again.

I would be lying if I said being back at work was easy. Honestly, I’ve thought about quitting a million times. But I’m not ready to make that big lifestyle change yet. Obviously, if I stayed home with you my paycheck would come in the form of snuggles, kisses, hugs, and many firsts together…but it’d be a huge, huge change that would impact our present and future.

So for now, I work.

A daily reminder of why I'm working.

A daily reminder of why I’m working.

Sure, I have good days and I have bad days.

But every day, I miss you.

Every hour, I miss you.

No, every second- I miss you.

I can’t tell you how many times a day I look at your picture, tell stories about you, or even play a video of you doing something adorable or silly.

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Your smile is simply perfection.

Any video with you laughing or smiling is worth watching 10 times a daily. I promise, I’m not a creeper or a stalker.

I’m just a mom.

I remember one morning vividly. The morning sky was still dark and the air was cold. Snow covered the ground and I tried to hurry you into Lora’s house. I opened up the carseat canopy and there you were, smiling and looking handsome as always.

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Oh, hi there!

I once told someone that working is 10x harder because you’re such a good baby. You’re so happy, loving, and fun to be around. Even though you love snuggling with me, you’re perfectly content sitting in your vibrating chair and watching me do dishes or fold laundry.

Just smiling and watching me put away clothes.

Just smiling and watching me put away clothes.

But, in effort to make me feel better, she reminded me that you being so great should encourage me to return to work. She said that be happy  knowing you won’t be screaming your head off all day and driving someone else crazy.

I suppose that’s one way to look at it. But still, leaving you is hard.

So incredibly hard.

Anyway, I gave you about 15 kisses, told you that I loved you, and squeezed your cheeks.

And then I gave you one more kiss on the forehead for good measure.

“Let’s watch mommy go bye bye,” Lora said following me to the door.

You were smiling, and I was dying on the inside.

Leaving your child just feel so unnatural.

Then the mom guilt started to kick in.

Is that what you’ll grow up thinking?

Is that how you’ll always see me?

Leaving you?

Saying goodbye?

Walking away?

See, that’s the hard part about working. I know that I’m helping support our family. Our future. But I hate the feeling I get in my gut every single time I walk out of Lora’s house and into my car.

I watch you both from the window- she’s smiling and your smiling. She kisses your forehead and you go upstairs to play until you can wake up her daughter for school.

I know that is your new routine. And even more importantly, I know you are loved and in wonderful hands while I’m working.

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But I’m sad I’m not a large part of your daily routine anymore.

We do get our Thursdays, weekends, and evenings together though. So I’m thankful for those memories and minutes we cherish together.

Holding you tightly after a long day at work.

Holding you tightly after a long day at work.

And I’m extremely thankful that my supervisor and company are flexible in giving me that day off with you each week. My Coop day. Or Re-Coop day in some cases.

I cried that morning on the way to work. I’ve had a few (okay, a lot) of emotional drives to and from work.

I’m just trying to take everything one step at a time.

One day at a time.

I know the majority of this blog has focused on the sadness and heartache I feel from leaving you, but I promise that the last month was filled with many fun, exciting moments!

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I enjoy our peaceful moments together too.

In fact, this past month has been filled with many firsts.

Our first family pictures (that included all four of us)!

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You were cranky because I had to wake you up for family pictures.

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But at least you’re an adorable crank!

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You could be a model. Seriously. How do I sign you up to be the next face of Gerber!?

Your first time being featured in the newspaper!!

The happiest.

The happiest.

Your first Christmas.

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You LOVED the Christmas lights.

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Opening your first Christmas gift!!

Your first time getting sick (which conveniently happened on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day).

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My heart broke to see you feeling sick.

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While we traveled all over the state of Indiana for Christmas, I held your hand and tried to make you feel more comfortable on the long drive.

Your first New Years Eve.

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Handsome like daddy.

And you stayed up until midnight - because, who needs sleep when you're a baby!?

And you stayed up until midnight – because, who needs sleep when you’re a baby!?

Your first snow day.

Bandit gave you a wet willy!

Bandit gave you a wet willy!

The first time I noticed you reaching for things.

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So excited about life.

Your first night sleeping in your big boy crib (which proved to be a lot harder on me than you).

Keeping tabs on you.

Keeping tabs on you.

Your first time playing the big boy jumper!

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Not sure what to play with first…

Your first time helping me clean.

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Double the clean!

And your first time eating cereal.

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Heading into month five (I’m a little late on writing you this letter), I’m desperate for you to start sleeping more. You’ve been waking up every hour or 1.5 hours. Sometimes we can just pat your butt, put in your pacifier, and watch you drift back to sleep.  Other times, you want changed or want to eat. And most of the time, you just want to be held.

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I realize I’m part of the problem – because I spent so many days and nights holding you and rocking you to sleep. And I know that “sleep experts” and “CIO (cry it out) gurus” would tell me I’m doing it ALL wrong. But I’m not too concerned about what other people think…I know there will always be a mom who did something different or “better” than me.

I’m just doing my best to figure out what works best for us!

And in a weird way, I enjoy getting up with you at night to snuggle. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t love it the next day when I am dragging at work and unable to keep my eyes open / wanting to nap under my desk. I love holding you in my arms. But last night was much better – no midnight  feedings, diaper changes, or snuggles until 5:30 am. You did, however, need your butt patted or pacifier put back in your mouth about 42 times.

At your 4-month check up, we told the doctor about your lack of sleeping. She encouraged us to start feeding you cereal (by spoon) in the evenings, stop late-night / midnight feedings, and surround your bed with pacifiers so if one falls out, you can hopefully find one and put it in your mouth.

4 Month Stats:

  • Weight: 16 lbs and 2 oz
  • Height: 26 inches long
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You’re a healthy and growing boy!

And, unfortunately, you had more shots.

I think you knew the shots were coming, despite my effort to make you laugh and takae selfies.

I think you knew the shots were coming, despite my effort to make you laugh and takae selfies.

You cried, but not as much as last time. And thankfully we didn’t feed you before the shots, so you didn’t puke all over yourself.

The worst :(

The worst 😦

The doctor commented that your head shape / flatness was looking better. We actually had your appointment with the neurosurgeon at Riley Children’s Hospital yesterday.

My mind and heart was heavy the entire month leading up to this appointment. I’ll write more about that appointment later this weekend. As you can tell, I’m behind on my writing and have a LOT of catching up to do.

But that’s okay – because I’d rather be spending my days and extra hours snuggling and playing with you. On that note, you’re about to wake up from your nap soon. I better go shower while I have the opportunity – who wants to snuggle with a stinky mommy?

I love you, my son. Until next month’s adventures…

xoxo!

xoxo!

Much love,

Mom

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