One of the hardest parts of being a working mom for me, is that after I put E to bed at night, I don't see him again until I pick him up at daycare the next day. When I leave to go to work he's still sleeping, and so I miss his mornings. That's especially sad, because he's so happy in the mornings, and it's seriously the best time of day to spend with him. It's nice because Tom gets that time, but selfishly I miss it. Especially because my time with him during the week is the cranky, waiting until bedtime time. Which is why my weekends are so sacred to me. I get mornings, I get happy baby, I get more time.
The weeks being what they are, we've developed a system to make it a little bit better for me. About a half an hour after I get to work, I start getting pictures. Tom documents E's morning, and sends me photo and video updates. I get to see his happy face when Tom flips on the light and E greets him from his crib. I can almost hear the giggles and babbling, and it's always amazing to see how happy he wakes up. There's really nothing better than when he looks up and recognizes you, and his face lights up. He's usually on his stomach and has been talking to either his hands or his pacifier, and then because he's leaning back to look up at your face, he almost always falls over onto his back. He'll lie there chewing on his sleep sack until you pick him up. And then he's always so calm and full of wonder when he wakes up. Just looking around, taking everything in.
Next I'll get the changing table pictures. Sometimes chewing on a toy, sometimes making faces at Tom. We're not sure why, but his changing table is his happy place. Oftentimes when he's melting down in the evenings, I'll bring him upstairs and we'll hang out here waiting for Tom to get home, so he can say goodnight. Where he was crying downstairs, he'll often be happy and giggly on his changing table.
Depending on how early he wakes up, and how cold it is in the house, he'll get some naked play time. I'll get videos of him talking to his toys, pictures of him gnawing on something, and reports of how far he's rolled or spun around on his blanket. It's awesome way to start the day. I'm looking at spreadsheets and the meetings I have today, and I get to watch E playing in his room. Every time my phone buzzes I get excited and rush to check what picture I got.
I usually pick out his outfits, and sometimes I remember what he's going to be wearing that morning, but not always. Either way, pictures of his outfits are exciting because he looks so cute all dressed up like a real person, and it makes me happy. Especially now that it's hoodie season. E looks good with a hood!
The bigger he's gotten (and the more mobile) the harder it is to get him dressed and stay still for pictures. Sometimes I get ones where he's mid roll away from Tom.
Then finally it's time for them to get bundled up and head off to daycare. If E's being especially cute, I'll get a picture of him in his car seat, ready to face the cold weather. At this point all that's left to wait for is the notification that he's been checked into daycare, which I mentally need before I can really get started on any work of the day. I'm always just a little bit distracted until it comes in, and then I settle down. He's safely off at school for the day, happy and healthy, and I can focus on work.
And with that, my morning with E is officially over. It's not as good as actually being there, but it's an acceptable alternative.