I have a day + a handful of hours left with my baby girl at home before my maternity leave ends and I return to work. Bah humbug.
Don’t get me wrong. I have a LOT to be grateful for. Like the fact that as a US citizen I got a paid leave at all. And that shortly after starting back at work I’ll be moved to daytime hours after working nighttime for almost two years (hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah). Aaaaaand that Rosalyn doesn’t yet have to start daycare because both her grandmothers have graciously offered to take turns watching her for us ’til the end of July. All of it is so good and I am so thankful.
I honestly don’t even know if I’m cut out for the stay at home lifestyle (our budget certainly isn’t right now ha). Just like working there are plenty of pros & cons to consider that I got a small taste of these past twelve weeks. I gotta say, the pros have been pretty damn good.
Weekday walks when the park is juuust about empty. Taking her by Papa’s office for lunch. Not having to schedule pediatrician appointments around anything. Coaxing her to take a nap with me if she’s willing. Everything at our pace. The past week or so we’ve been trying to lose the swaddle for naps & nighttime. I loved the challenge, having a goal to work towards. I burst with pride after each successful snooze. I relished deeply the ability to focus on nothing but her, the opportunity to watch her grow in front of me everyday.
I won’t miss feeling trapped every so often. The oppressive loneliness that comes with having only an infant and a dog to talk to most of the day. Every conversation with a friend I can’t help but feel so very needy, craving their contact. I won’t miss the jealousy I have towards people who have a more interesting answer to, “How is your day going?” than, “It’s been great/awful, she’s napped really well/poorly.”
Who knows, perhaps in the future something will change and staying at home will become a viable option for me. Maybe I’ll jump at the chance or maybe I’ll have decided that I enjoy having a job outside of the home. I guess we’ll have to just wait and see. What I do know is that life right now looks like me going back to work and missing my baby a whole, whole lot.