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I’ve had my fair share of Sunday scaries throughout my life. In elementary school, I felt disappointment in the last week of summer, and in middle school, I felt a little bummed when Sundays rolled around. In high school and college, I learned to live for my weekends. In my first job, I dreaded the work load the week would bring, knowing I had to prove myself as a first-year teacher. I’ve even worked in toxic jobs that made me sick to my stomach just before Monday morning.

But nothing can compare to the feeling I have today. Sunday scaries hit differently when you’re a mom going back to work. This Sunday, I feel a pit in my stomach so large, it’s making its way to my heart.

Sunday scaries hit differently when you know you’ll be gone in the morning before she even wakes. Knowing it’s best to stay out of her room before you leave for your early start time. Knowing she will ask where you are because we’ve spent every day together for the last two years. Knowing you won’t be there to translate all that she has to say. Knowing she’ll pull someone else’s hand to come play with her. Knowing someone else will comfort her when she cries.

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Sunday scaries hit differently when you’re not even sure you remember the professional you were before her. Knowing you’ll have to re-learn old skills and catch up on what you’ve missed. Knowing it’ll feel much like your very first day of work, 12 years ago. Knowing you will have to make room in your head for new tabs and close that window when you leave work. Knowing the old you focused all of your energy on your career so much so that it affected your relationship with your husband. Worrying the same will happen with your child.

Sunday scaries hit differently when you look at your weekly planner and wonder how you’ll ever juggle the appointments, chores, workload, and being a mom. Knowing you had everything down to a science and wondering why you ever complained about vacuuming and dusting. Knowing that with new responsibilities there will be less time for her and even less time for him. Knowing that what seems impossible right now will get done. Knowing so many moms do it daily and having a deeper admiration for them all.

Sunday scaries hit differently when you’re packing two lunches, knowing someone else will make sure she’s well-fed and drinking enough water. Wondering if you should pack a side of everything bagel seasoning because sometimes that’s the only trick to get her to eat food. Knowing that right after lunch someone else will put her down for a nap. Knowing she’ll request the song, “E-I-E-I-O” and then shout out things on Old McDonald’s farm that aren’t even animals. Wondering if she’ll squeeze someone else just as tightly as she squeezes you and how many fish kisses she’ll ask for before she lays her head down.

Sunday scaries hit differently when you want to tell her why you’re no longer spending every day with her, knowing she’s too little to understand. Knowing her new day will be confusing for her. Knowing she’ll quickly adjust, as kids do, and will be just fine. Knowing one day she may not even want to leave when you go to pick her up because she loves her friends and the people caring for her. Knowing that will break your mama heart but also bring you so much joy. Knowing this time will bring about growth for both of you.

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Sunday scaries hit differently when you’re a mom.

Sunday scaries used to rob me of my day, but now I’m a mom. Knowing she’ll only be so little for so long. Knowing I have less time with her. Knowing that mom is the most important job I have and the job I take most seriously. Knowing I’ll wake up tomorrow morning and go to work for her. Knowing she’ll understand that one day.

Sundays are no longer for scaries but for savoring every second with her.

Tomorrow won’t be easy, but I have today. Today, I will be the first face she sees in the morning, and I will greet her with a smile. I will be present. We will get on the floor to play and get back up to dance. We will make a mess because we are having too much fun to clean it up. We will eat breakfast and lunch together and talk about her new, exciting week ahead. I will rock her before nap and let her procrastinate a little longer than usual. We will sing “E-I-E-I-O” until it’s stuck in our heads. And I will squeeze her a little tighter before I lay her down to sleep.

Sundays hit differently when you’re a mom.

Originally published on the author’s blog

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Katie Hart

I’m a recovering perfectionist, gifted eater, and goofy wife and mama. I crave a good schedule and while some might find my life boring, I get to be a superhero by day and a princess at night. I start my day writing over a cup of coffee, then I teach kids to read, and after school, I perform stand-up comedy in dress-up clothes for my toddler. I thought my husband was the best thing that ever happened to me, and then we had our daughter.

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