This is my final week of maternity leave. It seems like forever ago that I left work, still pregnant, just waiting for Evangeline to arrive. My husband made me stop working due to swelling and my having issues with discomfort/etc. I was off for almost a week before Eva turned up. I wish I’d worked until my induction day, so I’d have had that extra week with her instead.
I’m not cut out to be a stay-at-home mum, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel awful about leaving her with strangers; about missing all the little moments; about being away from those big grins and smiles she does in the mornings. I won’t get to lazily play with her hands as she drifts off to sleep next to me on the bed for her afternoon nap. I’ll miss seeing her figure out her motor skills even more than she has already–gripping, grasping, holding something tight. She’s only just begun to try to laugh and I’m going to miss her mastering it.
It hurts. I hate it. But not working isn’t an option–I’d go insane, my career would effectively be over, and money would be beyond tight. It just isn’t worth it, in the long run. I can provide for her better at work and I’ll be a better mother if I’m not engulfed by the role.
I keep worrying that the daycare isn’t going to be good enough. That they’ll ignore her or mess something up. That they won’t know how to feed her or care of her… or even worse, that they’ll just let her “cry it out.” She’s in that fussy stage of her development, but the thought of her being left to cry hurts my heart.
I’m sure all working mums go through this. It’ll get better. The worst part is knowing I’ll get a max of 3-4 hours a day with her. That sucks.
Next week, at this time, I’ll be at work. A very sobering thought. Maternity leave felt like it was going to go on forever back in those early newborn days… now, just, I don’t know. I think I’m done thinking about it for right now.
Husband’s surgery went well, but it was a lot more intense than I anticipated. Seeing him in the hospital gown and on the gurney–ugh… I’m glad his dad was able to stay there with him. We waited at the in-laws until it was time to pick him up. He looked so pitiful sitting there… still in his gown. The recovery period took longer because they were having issues with his blood pressure being too high. I had to help him get dressed. He was really out of it. I really didn’t expect it.
The first few days were rough and exhausting, bouncing between taking care of him and Eva. I just felt so bad for him! I even had to feed him. Then, we went for his post-op and got stuck in traffic for four hours! A major accident had shut down the interstate, sigh. We had to take a long way home. I ended up driving for nearly six hours!
Having him home was nice, though. We got into a routine, he started feeling better… and then it was over. He’s back at work today, after a week and a half off. We took some three month pictures of Eva yesterday, even though it’s a little late. They turned out well, but she refused to smile or grin! All she wanted to do was try and blow raspberries at us. That’s her new favorite thing. The husband also got Eva to fall asleep on him for the first time ever, so he was pretty thrilled.
We went to our weight check during the horrible winter storm (where we got a foot of snow, which I drove in like a champ) and got the “all clear”! Evangeline’s back to where she needs to be, and she’s one looong baby! 96th percentile–yikes.
I keep trying not to dwell on the bad and instead focus on the positive, which has always been difficult for me. That and not measuring time. I get obsessive about time, it’s downright ridiculous. I’ve even taken to counting down the minutes in a day. Maddening! Eva is going to grow so fast and I don’t want to miss any of it… but providing the best for her is the most important thing. And there’s weekends, and holidays. I have a state job, so I get every bloody holiday off!
Once I go back to work, that’s it, it’s over–this time is over. She’s not a newborn anymore and I’ll never get that time with her back. I’ve taken to treasuring every moment, even the ones where she’s screaming or inconsolable… because once it’s over, it’s over. That’s it. Next thing I know, she’s in Kindergarten, she’s graduating High School, and then she’s just… gone–her own life, her own things… it’s baffling.
People weren’t lying when they said you have no real concept of time until you have a child.
Same for not realizing how much you can love something. There are no words.
We’ll find a rhythm, a way. Everything will work out.
I’ll make sure it does.