Today is my last day home with my family before I go back to the office.
I can hardly believe how fast the time has gone and that Tomorrow I will be returning to work – armed with a new breast pump and the faint hope that my brain will function.
I am blessed that I have been able to spend ten weeks at home with my new little one, my toddler, and my husband. The U.S. Military gives new moms six weeks of paid maternity leave. After the end of the six weeks, I used a combination of regular vacation time, and 13 days of convalescence leave after my Thyroidectomy.
The time has been a bit surreal in many ways. There’s so many things that I was able to do that would normally never happen. Like wearing colored nail polish for 8 weeks straight (I’m only allowed clear polish when in uniform). Sleeping in and snuggling with my kids on weekdays. Taking our time to get ready for the day. Going to the Chiropractor as a family. Running errands in the middle of the day. And exploring the city more than ever before, including trips to the Zoo and Children’s Museum too.
As I sit here, listening to my baby girl breathing as she sleeps on my chest, it is hard to believe that it’s over. My days have been filled with such joy! And soon I’ll only be able to spend half as much time with my little ones again.
I am so thankful that my husband is a stay at home parent. I can’t imagine how emotional I would be if tomorrow I had to take the kids to a daycare facility. We are blessed to have one of us at home, and he does an amazing job, but sometimes I wish I could be the one to do it. For a variety of reasons, it has made more sense for my husband to stay home. But I fear that my kids will somehow be upset about that decision someday. That they’ll feel angry that I chose to work instead of taking care of them. I think a lot of working Moms face this fear.
How do I explain to a child all of the very logical reasons why it makes more sense for Mommy to work? When at the same time my heart aches to be able to give them exactly what they want?
I don’t think there’s a good answer to this. But for now, I will work hard and give them the best life that I can so that they are taken care of and feel loved. I will try hard to treasure every moment we have together to make it through the times when we are apart. And someday I hope that they understand that we’ve done the best that we can for them.
But for just this moment I’m going to soak in this baby snuggle.