Returning to work after maternity leave is a difficult experience for a lot of new moms. I wrote this shortly before my maternity leave with my daughter ended. I hope these words can resonate with other mamas who are going through the same thing.
And yes, it does get easier, I promise.
I’m finally sitting down to write this because my little one is actually napping soundly. I’ve also just reheated my coffee for the third time this morning.
I have always been a list maker. This has taken on a whole new level when I became a mom. I literally have to write down things I intend to do or I won’t remember to do them (i.e. laundry, mail letters, pay bills). Along with lists, I am a big fan of countdowns. I like to know how long I have until an important event happens. I had a countdown to my wedding, a countdown to Christmas, a countdown to my maternity leave… Now I have a countdown to the day my maternity leave ends. Unlike the others, this is NOT a countdown I’ve been looking forward to.
Now three days a week, I’ll have to get dressed in real clothes, actually do my hair, maybe even put makeup on, pack a lunch, and walk out the door without my daughter. I’ll head into work and my daughter will head to daycare.
After spending every day with her for the first three months of her life, I can’t imagine not being there. I can’t imagine not being the person who will pick her up when she cries, who will feed her when she’s hungry, who will rock her to sleep at nap time. I can’t imagine not spending hours staring at her little face, stroking her soft skin, kissing her cheeks.
While I know I’ll miss her, what worries me the most is how much she’ll miss me. Will she think I don’t want to be with her? Will she wonder where mama is?
Mostly, I just want her to know how much I love her even when I’m not there. It’s easy to give her love when she’s wrapped in my arms, when I’m covering her soft skin in kisses, when I’m saying the words to her smiling face.
I hope I’ve wrapped her up in enough love that she will feel it even when she’s miles away from me, even when we’re spending hours and hours apart.
I hope she knows that she is the best part of my day.
I hope she feels all my love when I come home to her, when I finally get to snuggle her sweetness at the end of the day.
I hope she understands how much I’ve missed her and how often I’ve thought of her.
Of course, she’s really too young to know any of this right now.
So I hope it trickles into each day as she becomes more and more aware of this life and who she is and who I am. I hope it settles in her soul as she grows.
When she wakes up today, she’ll probably offer me a big toothless grin. We’ll sit in the nursery glider and I’ll breastfeed her. Afterward, she’ll snuggle into me and I’ll hold her, savoring each tiny, perfect moment.
To look on the bright side, once I’m back at work, I’ll probably be able to finish a cup of coffee without reheating it three separate times.
I’ll sure miss those snuggles though.