DISCLAIMER: To all my GFM family reading this, please know that my emotions about maternity leave ending have nothing to do with how much I value, respect and truly love each and every one of you. We are a family and I know I am coming back to things like laughing so hard my belly hurts and completing exciting and important work for our clients. I love what we do together. Preparing to leave Rylan is just a lot harder than I expected.
If someone could please explain to me how it is possible for 12 weeks to go by so quickly I’d greatly appreciate the insight. I am no dummy. I knew it would go fast, but not like this.
Didn’t I just turn on my out of office email reply and give everyone a hug on my last day before getting induced? Rylan just got here!
A coworker once said something to the effect of how nice it would be to go back to work right after a baby is born and then get to be off for 12 weeks when they are three months old and starting to have a real personality. She is on to something. The early weeks of maternity leave are a total blur of feedings, Google searches to make sure we were doing things correctly and feeling perpetually jet lagged from round the clock breastfeeding. Fast forward to today and Rylan is generally sleeping through the night (yay!!). I feel rested and confident in our routine. I love leaving the house with him and finally feel relaxed.
But come Monday I’ll add “working” to my current mom title. It’s a title I’ve always wanted and still very much embrace. I want Rylan to learn and grow in the daycare we’ve chosen as the teachers’ expertise will be wonderful for his development (though he doesn’t have to start until mid-Nov as my mom has offered to watch him full time until then). I am extremely proud of where I am in my career and do not want to lose all that I have built for myself. Rylan is incredible but I am not cut out to cater to his needs 24/7 as a stay at home mom. I have SO much respect for stay at home moms.
Those truths aside, I still can’t believe our routine will switch from mainly nursing to pumping and bottles. Rylan’s smiles are the biggest and brightest in the morning and I’ll be rushing to get him nursed and then pump before heading out the door. I am going to miss our lazy cuddle session in our PJs as I watch The TODAY Show. One thing is for certain. Getting home from work before his bedtime will be critically important to me and weekends will be sacred family time. My iPhone is stocked with photos of his smiles and videos of him “talking” to his animal toys. I’ll probably drain my battery the first week back watching those while pumping.
The lump in my throat this week will subside when being back to work simply becomes our new normal. And from now through Monday morning I am holding on to the little dude super tight. Our little man. The sweet boy who made me a proud mama and has taught me so much during these precious 12 weeks together. I love you Ry.