Dear World,

I went back to work because I had to, but I missed our baby so much.

A week after our baby was born I was beyond exhausted--limits were being tested. My mind played tricks on me as it struggled to adjust to the new normal.

Every two hours the baby needed to eat--even if she was sleeping, we would wake her up. Even if we were sleeping--we'd wake ourselves up too. In the middle of the night my wife would feed her. I could fall right back asleep during those few minutes but only to be woken back up. "Do you want to burp the baby?" my wife would say. "Of course!" my heart would say, because I love my baby. "Nope!" my brain would say, because I didn't even want to move. Oh no. This inner conflict persisted.

My wife would always say the same thing, as would my heart and my brain. At 2am, I found a way to trick my brain and I took control. "Just say burp" I told my wife. There was no need to ask--as a father, I am my baby's servant--she needs to be burped and that's final. There's no need for sugarcoating my responsibility with questions or requests when one word orders work just fine.

Another week passed and I was anxious and depressed about needing to go back to work. How was I going to be this tired and still function professionally? The remaining brainpower I had was dedicated to mastering a new set of skills that were all delivered with one-word simplicity--diaper, swaddle and of course burp.

I went back to work because I had to but I missed our baby so much. My wife would send me pictures and videos and I would get jealous. Then, six weeks later, I went into the office for the last time. COVID-19 was getting worse by the second and we live on Long Island, just 35 miles from the US epicenter, New York City, so staying home was the safest thing I could do. Thankfully, I am able to work remotely and do my part to protect the health of our brand new, precious little baby!

Now, I'm back at the beginning again--I don't want to return to the office whenever that time comes. I have been spoiled spending every day at home. I have been tremendously lucky to witness all of the ways our baby is growing and becoming an individual. When I have to leave the house for work again, I'm going to miss her so much. Hours and hours gone. No more morning photoshoots. No more lunchtime cuddles. No more afternoon naps. I guess that's what evenings and weekends will be for. At least we've gotten this much time together--I have to be grateful.

I could have been an essential worker or lost my job, I could have gotten sick, and it could have been much much worse. At least I have my memories, my pictures and my story. 



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