Goodbye, Maternity Leave

me-and-my-babiesTomorrow marks my first day back to work after my maternity leave with Kate. It’s a bigger deal than when I returned to work after I had Alex, because I know this will be my last maternity leave (at least, that’s the plan).

Part of me is excited to get back. Seeing my friends. Getting back into a routine. (Figuring out what our new routine looks like… .) Diving into client projects. Re-focusing my efforts on taking jhP’s digital to the next level.

But a bigger part of me than I had anticipated is sad.

I didn’t have much trouble taking Kate to her first day of daycare. (She started on Monday.) She’s going to the same daycare the boys have always gone to. I know the staff there so well, it almost feels as though she’s staying with family.

The sadness comes from the thing that’s made me sad the entire maternity leave – knowing that all these are experiences are happening for the last time. Holding a tiny baby close. Watching as they start to wake up and experience the world around them. Their first smiles and sounds. Their first blowouts. It’s the last set of firsts I will get to experience, and it’s been really hard for me to come to terms with. Honestly, I’m not really sure I’m even there yet.

I’d love to have a forth child, I also know I really don’t want to be in my late 60’s as they’re getting married and starting a family. I want to be like my parents and Tony’s parents and be able to help them as they take those first scary steps into parenthood (each time they do it). To help with meals and cleaning and giving them the reassurance that they’re doing a great job. All the things our family has given us over the past few months.

So if you see me tomorrow, and I look a bit down, just remind me I will get to experience this stage again. But it will be doing it through the eyes of my sons and my daughter as they get their turn.