Friday, October 15, 2010

Back to Work

Dear Scarlett,
Today is my last day of maternity leave. I can barely believe it's been almost 7 months. It makes me think back to the day when you were 5 weeks old and Nonnie left and Dad was at work and you and I were home alone, just us, for the first time ever. I was so happy that day, but also scared. Now I'm not scared to be alone with you. It's just me and you so much of the time. We take walks and go grocery shopping, you crawl around on the floor in the kitchen while I cook and clean up. We play in your room with your music table, read books, sing songs...I know that going back to work doesn't mean we can't do these things anymore. But I still feel like something amazing is coming to an end.

I'm excited to go back to work, too, which leaves me feeling a little guilty and sad. I feel ready to have more adult interaction and some different kinds of challenges. But I know that soon the stress of work will creep back into my life and it won't be something I can turn off just because office hours are over. I worry about that getting in the way of our time together, time when I just want to be enjoying our family. When I was pregnant with you, and thinking about the labor and delivery, it helped me to think about the fact that women have babies every day. Now it's helping me to know that women with children go to work every day, and most of them probably don't have a situation as nice as mine: a 7-month leave, working from home, my sister as your nanny, done at 3pm. It's really a good arrangement, but it doesn't leave time to snuggle with you in the morning, to feed you peas at lunch, to put you down for naps. I am going to miss those things so much.

The end of maternity leave is not the end of motherhood, it's true. It's just the end of maternity leave. But right now, that feels pretty big.