Moments like this are bliss. Pure bliss. A freshly bathed baby, snuggled in your arms.
To be quite honest, I struggled with maternity leave. Although I loved every minute I got to spend being Jake’s mama, I found it lonely. Most of our friends don’t have children, and the ones that do still work full-time. So playdates were out – and our local mamas group starts with kids at age one. I found myself wandering around the house, unable to accomplish anything because I had no schedule, no ambition, certainly no desire to blog about my day. I would just wait for Jake to wake up from naps so we could play and take walks.
When my twelve weeks were up, I was ready. To be back on a schedule, to be back with adults, back to using my brain a bit more. Going back to work was not only a financial decision for me, but a mental one. I feel more like myself, even though I miss Jake terribly throughout the day. But I do think it makes me a better mama when I get home. I feel revived and can’t wait to kiss his cheeks a hundred times when I pick him up from daycare. Those sweet little cheeks and big smile. Oh I miss them during the day.
I know that going back to work isn’t the right decision for everyone. It was tough one for me to make, especially since I grew up in a house with a stay-at-home-mom AND a dad who worked out of our home. I was constantly surrounded by parents, everywhere I turned. Handing my kid over to others for the day is not easy, and something that most people aren’t able to do. I struggled at first. With being away from him. With the fear that he would forget me, or latch onto someone else instead. That I wouldn’t be his favorite.
Oh, I so want to be his favorite.
Luckily that doesn’t seem to be the case. Our daycare is spectacular. It’s a church-based learning center, which infuses traditional childcare with biblical content. The teaching staff is made up of the sweetest girls, who genuinely love every giggle and every cry. Jake seems content when we drop him off and greets me with the biggest smile when I pick him up every day. He seems to like it, but thankfully, seems love time with me more.
So for right now, we’re doing what feels right for our life. Maybe down the road that will change. And it already has slightly. My initial plan of going back full-time wasn’t the perfect solution, I just missed the little guy too much. So starting next week, I’ll be cutting back to four days so I get one full day of uninterrupted Jake time. Going back to work feels right to me, but getting a little extra time with Jake makes it much easier to be apart for a few days a week.
And for my fellow mamas out there struggling with this decision the only advice I can give you is that only you know your own financial situation and emotional state. Understand what that is and go from there.
Until then, cherish every little snuggle. Mine is waiting for me at 4pm today 🙂