Remember that part-time job I got, that thing that was supposed to make PPD easier to deal with? Yeah. Not so much.
The first week of my job was fabulous. I caught on quickly to the old-fashioned cash register and handwritten ticket system. The manager was totally cool with my need to pump milk every few hours, too. Baby had a few rough first days at daycare, but I expected that, so I wasnâ€™t too worried.
That first weekend, we both got sick. And sicker. I called in to work Monday, said I needed to take baby to urgent care. My manager totally understood. We got some amoxicillin for baby and I figured Iâ€™d just power through whatever was afflicting me. I managed to work the rest of the week, but things got worse.
My daughterâ€™s favorite daycare lady had just gone on vacation. Babyâ€™s world was completely rocked for the second time in two short weeks, and she started exhibiting â€śboundary issues.â€ť I felt like the daycare director was talking about someone elseâ€™s kid when she explained how my daughter wouldnâ€™t interact with other toddlers, wouldnâ€™t be happy in anyoneâ€™s arms and wouldnâ€™t eat or drink.
â€śThe only way she wants to play is alone in a crib. If we put her there with a few toys, sheâ€™s okay for awhile.â€ť
For serious? She was talking about my child like she was some kind of pint-sized psychopath. I didnâ€™t understand. Just weeks ago Iâ€™d seen my daughter gently touch another baby and give hugs to big kids at the mall play area. She normally loved following kids around on playgrounds, giggling and staring open-mouthed in their wake.
Then, work started scheduling me 30 hours a weekâ€”way more than Iâ€™d ever agreed to. My serving job was supposed to be secondary to my writing, and at this point, my manager wasnâ€™t being clear with me about when, if ever, Iâ€™d get a regular part-time schedule like I was promised upon getting hired.
Meanwhile, baby and I just got sicker. I combated the disappointment that my breastmilk wasnâ€™t all-powerful liquid gold after all. And I combated the irony that I had finally quit smoking cigarettes again and was rewarded with a vicious cold.