Thoughts on the end of maternity leave round 2

Dear future self,

I have one day left before maternity leave ends and it hit me like a sack of potatoes today. Yesterday, I felt the wind up, but today I was hit. There is a part of me that is sad that these cute munchkins aren’t going to see my face in the morning, nor do I get to see theirs or smell their morning breath or hear William’s little cries or Lexi rattling our door open. I have truly adored our lazy relaxing mornings when we all snuggle in bed together and get a few more minutes to sleep while Lexi watches videos of herself. Which is followed by a leisurely breakfast and staying in pajamas until noon. And staying in pajamas until noon sounds cliche, but really, to get out of the house anytime before 11 was really challenging.

Most of what I feel is anxiety about what is too come. There is the fairly trivial questions racing through my mind at any given moment, What will our new schedule be like? Will I continue to leave the house before eyelids have lifted? Will Bill and I have 2 minutes of time for ourselves? But, a big part of that anxiety is fear. Being a working mom was challenging; how much harder is it going to be to have two? I fear the pressure to be more proactive about meal planning. I dread going back to grocery shopping with crowded aisles and picked over produce and running errands with the rest of the world on the weekends. I dread the pumping and the cleaning of the parts and the bottles and the mental checklist of making sure it is all ready for the following morning. As I type this all out and process what I’m really feeling, I guess what I fear is the constant rush of life that is about to ensue again. Evenings and weekends are consumed with prepping and planning to help make tomorrow a little bit smoother, I don’t get to just enjoy the time with Bill, Lexi and William the way I have for the past 6 weeks.

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To me, it is fascinating to compare my thoughts on the end of this maternity leave from the first one. Overall, Lexi’s was fairly relaxing. She was sleeping great and because it was so cold, we spent a lot of time inside just relaxing.  This time, I would describe it more as fun. That first month was rough for all, but once we got over that hump we were able to enjoy our time and do fun things. We went on lots of walks, went to MOA several times, got together with friends, played outside lots, went to parks and the zoo several times. At the end of Lexi’s leave, I was consumed by saddness and remember nearly refusing to put her down as I needed to soak up every last moment with her. I feel like I have grown so much from those days. Granted, lots of things have changed, including 3 different jobs since then. But for the first time, I feel like I have a job that I like enough that I’m kind of looking forward to going back. I’m curious to see what has happened (or hasn’t) while I’ve been out and get re-engaged into something that is bigger than contemplating the best time to make a Target run between feedings and naps.

To wrap up my thoughts, I am so grateful to be blessed with these two amazing and healthy little firecrackers that make me flutter in delight at a mere thought of them and the opportunity to even have a maternity leave. I give thanks that I have a job that pays well enough to give me this time and that I actually want to go back to. And a husband who works very unconventional and undesirable hours to watch said firecrackers, which makes me feel so much more comfortable and confident in going back to work. Lastly, as Lexi and I have been doing together every night, I prey for a smooth transition for the whole family as we embark on this next step. It is funny how I feel like I’m doing more nesting now than I did before William’s arrival. I’ve been making lists and crossing things off, ensuring the bathrooms have all been deep cleaned, everyone has clothes to wear for the next 3 months, meals are ready and available and projects are all wrapped up to make the evenings and nights as enjoyable as possible.

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Cheers to my 12 week fairytale and our new reality.

Kristin

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