Since my “maternity leave” from being a stay at home mom has been behind me with Adam going back to work, I find myself slightly wishing away these initial weeks of Noah’s life. In my sleep deprived haze, I am secretly wishing him to be four or five months old so that we can be more in a rhythm. You can’t exactly blame me since I am balancing two others while having a lingering cold and an obscenely small amount of sleep.
Yesterday marked Noah’s one month birthday. In my old world, as a working mom, that equated to being 1/3 the way through maternity leave. All these old feelings rushed through my system. The panic I felt with my other two that I was losing my days with them. The gut wrench of knowing that I was going to have to leave them with people that started out as strangers, ultimately turning into loving caregivers but that initial feeling of leaving them with foreigners. And suddenly my perspective changed.
So many times I have weighed both sides of working and not working. 99.9% of my days are spent appreciating that I am a stay at home mom. I think I have a special appreciation for this role since I didn’t start out here. But there are times, similar to this morning where Drew and I had seven fights before nine am, where I sometimes doubt it.
Taking a walk down memory lane and revisiting the feelings I felt previous to quitting, reminded me how fortunate I am. A couple of years ago, I took off two weeks at the end of the year for vacation. When January hit and it was time for everyone to go back to daycare, I cried for days. I couldn’t get over the fact that I had to wait a whole other year to have the chance to spend complete days with them again.
And as hard as these days are, and nights now, I am reminded at how much harder it would be if I were balancing both work and kids. I can’t help but feel so grateful that for the first time after having a baby, I don’t have to leave him. I’m sad that I missed some of this time with my other two but am so very lucky to have this time now. So as I dream of sleep or think to plant my children in front of the television because I don’t have the energy to play princesses again, I’m going to rethink it all.
In a not to far away world, my days of this were numbered by impending work days ahead. Now my days are numbered because my kids will be grown up before I know it. It’s easy for me to take this for granted. I think I may need to take weekly revisits to the land before time, a.k.a. my days of being a working mom. There I remembered how much I longed for this chance…and for better or worse, I’ve gotten it.