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 wasnât 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 Iâd just power through whatever was afflicting me. I managed to work the rest of the week, but things got worse.
My daughterâs favorite daycare lady had just gone on vacation. Babyâs world was completely rocked for the second time in two short weeks, and she started exhibiting âboundary issues.â I felt like the daycare director was talking about someone elseâs kid when she explained how my daughter wouldnât interact with other toddlers, wouldnât be happy in anyoneâs arms and wouldnât eat or drink.
âThe only way she wants to play is alone in a crib. If we put her there with a few toys, sheâs okay for awhile.â
For serious? She was talking about my child like she was some kind of pint-sized psychopath. I didnât understand. Just weeks ago Iâd 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 weekâway more than Iâd ever agreed to. My serving job was supposed to be secondary to my writing, and at this point, my manager wasnât being clear with me about when, if ever, Iâd 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 wasnât 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.