Sunday, March 9, 2014

End of Maternity Leave

I'm at the end of my mat leave. My last day was February 23, 2013. I took a little vacay, mat leave began on March 1, and bolstered by a little more vacay, I'm due back at work on Tuesday. Jack starts daycare on Monday.

Friday was the last real day, where I had my baby all to myself while the Dude was at work. And it was a really great day. In fact, I had a really good week. Jack had been kind of sick for two weeks, so we didn't do much for awhile. But last week was really lovely.

Monday the Dude took the day off and we went to the subsidy office.

Tuesday I took Jack to an Early Years Centre in the morning.

Wednesday I took Jack to an Early Years Centre in the afternoon.

Thursday a mom friend came over with her little boy in the afternoon for a nice visit.

Friday I took Jack for a long walk after a day of him eating plenty and taking great naps.

So, it's ending on a high note. The notes haven't all been high, but now that my leave is ending I realize just how much I'll miss it. It's an era of my life that's over. I watched my baby grow and it's been a sweet time.

Deep down, I guess I used to feel like parents had some sort of protocol or idea of what they're doing... but we're all really just flying kind of blind. I made everything up as I went, Googling, asking my doctor and other moms for information, and now I feel like I've got some sort of handle on it all. And just in time to go back to work and do things I'm completely rusty at.

I was rocking Jack in the glider yesterday evening as I fed him his last bottle of the day and I had a little cry. Very soon that time of the day is going to really matter more to me than ever before. At the end of a day of work, I'm going to have to get as much out of our time together as I can, all two hours of it.

The Dude and Jack have a great relationship, and sometimes the Dude doesn't even get to see Jack at the end of the day, though when he does he says it's amazing quality time. So I can't be afraid of our connection going anywhere. I was raised with daycare and was very attached to my mother.

It's just I don't think I'm fully ready for it to be over. That's all. If I could just have one more month, maybe, or two. There's so much I'm going to miss.

You know, it took me some time to adjust to being a mother, to truly fall in love with my baby and to get into a groove where I wasn't feeling inadequate. And now I'm there. But at least maternity leave did that for me. It gave me the time I needed to become confident and competent and to create a relationship with my son. I can't imagine what American mothers go through, leaving their babies at 6 weeks, 12 weeks... I had over 11 months and that still doesn't feel like enough.

But here we are. I'm lucky. I just have to remember that. Jack will be just fine, and soon so will I.

We'll still have Sundays.


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