My maternity leave has come to an end. I’m so fortunate to have a job that I can take off 12 weeks to be able to spend that precious time with my new baby. But tomorrow I will return to work full time. Today is very bittersweet for me. My heart hurts at the thought of having to leave my precious girl to go to work every day. I treasure every moment I get with her at home. Our morning cuddles in bed, playing on the floor after her morning feeding, nursing & sleeping on whatever schedule we want… It’s been so nice. But, I have to say, it will feel somewhat good to get back to work. It’s weird not having daily interaction with adults. It’s also weird going to bed in the same thing I woke up in that morning. Haha! I’m not sure how Monday will go. Will there be tears? Loneliness without my girl? More tears?
I’m really nervous about this week, too. How am I going to fit my work into my new life? I think my biggest concern is breastfeeding. How am I going to make sure I maintain my supply for my girl? I plan on blocking off certain times a day for pumping, but can I stick to it? Shoot, when I was pregnant, I hardly ever even got to take a lunch break! One of the most important things to me is for my girl to be exclusively breastfed. I’m just hoping and praying that going back to work will not negatively affect my supply.
I have a new respect for stay at home moms and dads. (Not that I didn’t before, but even more so.)
Child care is something that worries me…and it’s for stupid reasons. Luckily we do not need full time child care because of Leighton’s work schedule. Since he is home several days during the week, he will be taking care of her. For the days he is not home, care will be divvied up between my mom, mother-in-law, grandma and my sister who have all graciously agreed to give their time to watch her when needed. I guess my fear is that her routine won’t be the same all the time and I fear that somehow a day will get overlooked and Leighton will be on the road, I’ll have appointments all day and I’ll have forgotten to arrange for someone to watch her. I guess it would be easier, too, if our schedules were more predictable. Leighton’s somewhat is, mine is not at all. Plus, even though I can work a lot from home, I cannot take care of her and work. I can barely fold laundry and fix dinner alone with her…let alone do something that requires actual thought and my full attention! Haha! I know it will all work out and I’m getting worked up over nothing, but it’s part of that little section of my brain that has to have everything planned out perfectly.
I’ve learned a lot in 3 months at home and 9 1/2 weeks with a newborn. Needless to say, these last 11 1/2 weeks have been enlightening. I’ve learned so much and experienced even more.
I now understand why moms age their children in weeks during infancy and then months in the toddler years. Non-moms: here’s why. THEY GROW SO FAST! Since Vivienne was born, every week brings on new developments, new skills and new loves. So, to a parent, when you say 7 weeks or 9 weeks, we know the difference in those! And it’s so big! If you just say 2 months…it is such a vague description. So, I’m assuming once you get past the ‘weeks’ stage, it is the same for months. So much happens month to month, to call a 15 month old “a year old” is just too vague! I think we also do it partly because “8 weeks” sounds so much younger than “2 months.” It helps me not to be as sad that time is flying if I measure in weeks rather than months. Before I had Vivienne, I just could not understand why moms did this. Now I do! Oh, and same goes for pregnancy weeks!
During this time, I’ve also learned that, as much as I’d like to be one, I’m not cut out for the SAHM realm. It takes a very special person to do this and it is just not in my blood. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I have loved being home these past 10 weeks with my girl, but the thought of having 5+ years of staying home every day, all day with kiddos is daunting. I don’t think I’m brave enough to do it! I don’t know how my mom did it! Seriously! Mad props. Although, if given the opportunity financially, I would stay home in a heartbeat
I’ve also learned that…
- Cloth diapers are amazing. Best decision I’ve ever made. Seriously. We even switched to cloth wipes. More on that later.
- It’s not as hard to get out and about with an infant as I previously thought.
- Natural labor and birth is possible and very much worth it!! More on that later, too.
- I’m not strong enough to to CIO with my girl. I just can’t. I wish I was because we’d probably be on a much better schedule by now but, alas, we are not.
- My husband is a natural. Seriously. Having never been around any babies (or births!) to speak of, he has taken on this new daddy role like he’s been doing it his whole life.
- Life will never “get back to normal.” THIS is the new normal.
I love being a momma and I love my sweet Vivienne!