Stellar Baby: When Maternity Leave Is Over

So, I was really trying to complete the November #bloglikecrazy writing challenge with my blogging group See Jane Write. But writing a daily post became difficult when the one thing I couldn’t stop thinking about became the one thing I couldn’t bring myself to write about.


It was the tears that scared me. The tears that were falling every day for two weeks pending my return to work last week. And they were flowing again this weekend knowing this week would be a full five days, rather than just the one and a half that I’d hoped would help ease me into this.

But there’s no easing into this.

I get that to some this seems dramatic. And there are certainly much more difficult things for people to bear. But for 12 weeks I have been with Penny morning, noon and night. With the exception of a few short bursts of time without her, she’s been the sun that I revolved around every minute of every day for three months.

Dropping her off at daycare for the first time last week was surreal. Like an out of body experience.

Let me make two things clear: 1. I love her daycare center so far and know that she is in good hands every day. 2. I love my job and always intended to return to work. In fact, a piece of me has missed writing and editing. It’s part of who I am, not just what I do.

But sadly, those two things don’t make being away from Penny any easier. I know there’s only one thing that will.

Time.

In time, we got used to our new normal of feedings and diaper changes. Of less sleep and strolls around the house while singing Christmas carols. We learned that you hadn’t really felt joy like the joy when your baby first smiles at you. And we will also get used to being back at work and daycare drop-offs and soaking up every fun second with Sweet P outside of work. We’ll work efficiently and steadily so when that clock strikes quittin’ time, we can hightail it outta there and straight to pick up our girl. We will make the most of the moments we share and not take them for granted.

Every working mother I know has told me it gets easier. (And don’t forget the dads, because this isn’t easy for them either!) To them, I am grateful to have found fellowship and support. I’ll be happy to talk about your kids anytime. Thank you for your hugs and reaching out the past couple of weeks.

I am lucky to have had 12 wonderful weeks of maternity leave. Too few women in the U.S. are able to take that much time. I’ll always be grateful to my employer for the ability to bond with my baby for that long.

But I know now what people mean when they say “time flies” and “time is precious.”

Now I see how valuable time really is. 

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