Monday, January 21, 2013

At The End of My Maternity Leave

I have been dreading this day for the last two months.  Actually, I have been dreading this day ever since Hubster and I decided to have another baby.  The last day of my maternity leave.

This day kind of makes me wish I was Canadian and I could have a year of maternity leave. Just kind of.  Canada is cold.

This has been the shortest two months of my life. I knew that it would be.  Every day since Duck was born, I have felt both of us hurtling towards the time when we would be separated. When there would be no more time to spend the entire day in bed, just snuggling my baby, staring at his perfect little features, doing everything I could to make him smile.

I ended up using the rest of my vacation to so I could have another week with my baby.

Finding child care has been a nightmare.  We interviewed day cares in August. Several of the places told us they would not have spots until May or June. We placed our names on waiting lists at four centers. We didn't get a spot. We looked for a nanny, and found most of them wildly outside of our budget. We did find an affordable nanny, but in the end, she was not a good fit for our family.  We looked at in home day cares.  Most were much to far away, and others left me with a sick feeling in my stomach.  I knew that I could never leave my precious baby in those environments. A week before I was scheduled to go back to work, I still did not have child care.  I developed near blind panic. Then, the wife of a friend offered to watch Duck, as she had been thinking of starting an in home daycare of her own.

It took everything I had to not hug her.

Duck is about to be two months old and I already have hundreds of pictures of him. I look at his rapidly growing file on my external hard drive and think that maybe I might be over doing it.

But I was thinking back on the baby versions of  Bug and Monkey, and was suddenly hit by the fact that I don't remember. I don't remember them being this small.  Yes, I remember their births, I remember them as babies, I remember playing with them.  But the day-to-day, the small little changes, the subtle differences from day to day, the precious little moments, those are gone. And I am heart broken.  We didn't have a camera when Bug was born. I didn't take as many pictures when Monkey was born. Now, with digit pictures and near unlimited storage, there is no reason not to. So I will continue to take multiple pictures every day, in an last ditch attempt to hang on to this fleeting time.

I've heard some women talk about how they are so ready to go back to work after their 6-8 weeks of maternity leave. Ready to be working, ready to have a schedule, ready to interact with adults again.  I am not ready.  I don't think I will ever be ready.  I look at Duck and realize he has no idea what is coming tomorrow morning. I will go back to work.  I have only 6 months left of residency. Of course I will finish. I'm only 6 months away from a great job. After nine years and over a hundred thousand dollars of debt, of course I will go back. But I'm not ready.

This is going to be hard. There will be tears on all fronts. But as Hubster and I keep reminding each other, we have done this before.  We have made this work before. We can do it again.  We look at Bug and Monkey and see how happy they are, how well adjusted they are, and realize we will get through this just fine.


  1. My dear fellow blogger, how I know that feeling, but you are close to finishing your learning, that it would be a shame to stop and stay at home, even though your little one is so cute. Being a working mum is always hard, but it helps pay the bills and give the kids options and fun to have and after all, hopefully you will have the weekends free to make up lost time. What I think would be invaluable if all new mothers were given a house cleaner and that would aid one so much not having to do the housely chores..I am sure I would have loved that- having five kids and working and doing all the chores, it could only be a dream for me.... but anyway, don't regret leaving your lovely boy, he knows he is loved by you and his dad and siblings.. he looks pretty happy and contented to me.. its the hormones talking too you know** Hugs from across the pond... and thank you for sharing those lovely pics too!! janzi

  2. Canada is not THAT cold :) Well it depends where in Canada lol but here in Toronto it's not that bad and the year off was certainly nice! I can't imagine how you Americans go back after two or even three months off, you aren't even getting real sleep yet, not sure how you function! Your baby will be fine, it is you I'd be more worried about! But it will be over in a blur and you will get used to your new normal in no time!

  3. I can only imagine how difficult that is, leaving your baby and going to work. But everything will be okay. He'll thrive and you'll learn a new normal and everything will be fine.

  4. A friend of mine was sad to go back to work but then she got the thrill of seeing her baby smile at her when she came home each night. You'll get through this and flourish.

  5. Still here for you. What a helplessly overwhelming ache to face. HUGS!