Well, we all survived it. I can say that much.
When Matt and I dropped Lizzy and Maddie off at day care -- Lizzy for before/after care, and Maddie for her first full day away from Mommy -- Lizzy shed a few quiet tears, and Maddie practically waved us off with a cheerful smile. She appeared to have had a pretty good day -- lots of quiet observation of the other babies, a bunch of little catnaps, and a few bottles of Mommy milk, taken without complaint from a bottle. Not such a bad day, I suppose. No glass-shattering screaming until about 5:30, when the good ladies who work there decided maybe she could use another bottle, feeding schedule or no ... which is perfectly fine with me.
Lizzy seems to have taken to her new friends by day's end, as well.
Maybe I was the one with the greatest sense of shock. Which is strange, because I wasn't away for THAT long! But I could hardly sleep the night before. I felt quiet despair, yet resignation, at returning to the old routine (the job, I mostly love; it's the commute and the prospect of leaving my baby that I despise). And, I guess it was okay. But we're dismayed by the sheer quantities of time it takes to get in and out of the city from here. It's just almost undoable. We might have to rejigger our schedules a bit, somehow.
But I keep coming back to this: We made certain decisions, and we stand by them. We have to consider the entirety of our lives, or at least the next 20-ish years, not just the here and now. Our girls are in a TERRIFIC school system. We live in a beautiful, family-friendly neighborhood, with kind and friendly neighbors. We have a roomy enough house that's been fun to improve in ways large and small. Yes, we could perhaps be in a two-bedroom apartment in Arlington, with a much shorter commute. But we'd go nuts in a different way in that scenario. And we can't suddenly double either of our salaries, or work from home, or get a job out near the house.
So, this is what we have -- for now. And we're making the most of it. But even knowing that doesn't make it easy to wave goodbye to those dear smiling little faces five mornings a week and forge out into the soul-destroying slog that is the D.C. commute. Ugh ugh UGH. Thank God for weekends.
Did I mention, I really enjoyed my maternity leave?!?