An Open Letter To My Baby Boy

 Leaving in the hushed darkness of the morning for work doesn’t make me feel like a good mother. I tell myself that this is all to give you a better life—a better chance. With a kiss on your forehead and false cheerfulness to get a smile from you, I leave you awake in your bed, my heart breaking. 

But I can’t show you that part of me. I have to be strong. I have to be everything you need and more. What you don’t know is that I coax that smile and silent laugh so that I too can smile without a struggle. It truly is the most beautiful moment to see you happy and healthy and while I’m more than grateful for it, it also is the hardest part of my day.

Every time I leave for work, I feel like I’m failing you. Every smile, every hysterical little laugh that escapes you, every tiny moment that I miss, brings the heavy hand of sadness along with it. I wish I could make you understand that I’m doing this for you, but you’re too young to fully grasp at everything just yet. 

The doctor’s said that six weeks was enough time to heal, but that wasn’t quite true. My life changed the day I met you. I thought I knew love when I met your father, but meeting you showed me how much I loved being a family. With the restless nights and painful trials of motherhood, I’ve never felt so whole, so complete before. 

And then, I was forced to leave you.

Six weeks wasn’t enough time. My wounds reopened in different spots now—more particularly, a new wound opened in my chest where the dragging thump of my heartbeat lies. Six weeks wasn’t long enough to keep away from crunching numbers to pay the bills. I’d give anything for more time with you, but Mommy has to make sure your future is ready for the man you’ll become. 

So I’ll keep making you smile and laugh, and I’ll stay at home with you until the very last minute I can just to make it through the hours that you’re not by my side while I’m away.

I promise little man, I’ll always be looking out for you no matter what keeps me from seeing your smile.




3 thoughts on “An Open Letter To My Baby Boy

  1. I feel for American mothers. It was bad enough having to go back to work after six months when I had my daughter (mothers got 4 months paid mat leave then and I had saved up 4 weeks vacation leave and took one month unpaid. Now mothers in the UK get 6 months paid mat leave and in my organisation at least, her job is kept for her for another 6 months if she decides to take unpaid leave when the mat leave runs out). I really can’t imagine how you managed physically or emotionally and hope things start to change. (Your baby will be fine though, they are very resilient and no-one is like their own mother. He’ll grow up confident because he knows when you leave, you will also come back.)

    1. It was rough. I didn’t qualify for paid mat leave because I had to have been at my job for year to get them. Maternity leave in the US is a joke. It just confirms that the government isn’t looking out for newborn mothers or mothers with infants.

      1. It’s terrible, I can’t believe it’s not being looked at properly to bring the US in line with other countries in the developed world. A supported mother will be more productive and loyal. I hope some campaigning raises the issue properly somehow.

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