On my last day of maternity leave…
- I promised myself as the last day of maternity leave to be present in each moment with you.
- I held you every moment I could even when you were sleeping.
- I kissed your cheeks and combed your hair out of your eyes.
- I danced in the kitchen with you to Tswift and memorized each smile.
- I read our favorite stories to you and your fur brothers.
- I thought about all the ways I could make being a stay-at-home mom work.
- I made up my mind to go back to work just to try it.
- I realized I didn’t know how to dress you for daycare and panicked for a spell.
- I thought about what I would wear and oh dear, pumping at work.
- And I stayed up most of the night teary-eyed writing my every thought in your journal.
Here’s that entry from October 13th, 2015…
Sweet Hen, You start daycare tomorrow and I am freaking out. I’m going to miss you so much. Am I ready for meetings instead of tummy time? Or to actually drink a cup of tea instead of leaving a trail of untouched cups in our path? Just a bit ago, you cried. I sprinted to you, scooped you up, and as soon as you felt my arms – you smiled and fell back asleep. I feel so purposeful and whole with you. I’m going to miss the small things. The way you arch your back, purse your lips, and stretch just one arm up when I pick you up from a nap.
I’m still not sure I trust anyone to take care of you. I’m worried the school won’t know to sing you “Little Henley had a farm” or be able to remember the 20 animals on your farm like an elephant that really shouldn’t be there. Will they know that you love diaper changing time? Or that at 10:00 a.m. every day you like to lay on your back and kick like crazy? I worry that I’ll crumble without you by my side. You’re a piece of me outside my body. Will I even be the same if you’re not there?
Gosh, I should have practiced spending time away from you over these past few months, but I didn’t want to leave you. Will you be scared? Will you miss me? Or even know to miss me? Is it bad I hope you miss me? It feels like I’ve known you my whole life. And my how quickly you’ve usurped your dad as the love of my life. I could stay awake all night and I’ll still never stop the sun from rising. So with that I’ll make my gazillionth attempt at falling asleep with visions of what you and I will wear tomorrow. I love you always, Momma.
Flash Forward from maternity leave…
I made it exactly one hour at my work my first day back from maternity leave, but each day got easier just like everyone said it would. I’m thankful for the time I had on maternity leave just the two of us in a bubble. Those moments are harder to come by, but I’ve never dropped my promise to be present and truly soak up every minute of magic I have with her.