Thursday, March 14, 2013

Reflecting on Maternity Leave

Tonight my neighbor stopped over to drop off a stroller they don't want anymore. She's pregnant with her second child and is getting a double stroller to use. She's due in 4 weeks and we were talking about how her maternity leave will be different now with 2 kids. It got me thinking about my maternity leave and how much I loved it.

I remembered being so emotional that last day of maternity leave. I felt sad; sad that time was no longer a luxury.  I loved the feeling that I had nothing to do but be with Evan. In the early days, we would have our nest on the couch, just E and me.  We would have blankets and our boppy, my big jug of water, and the remote.  We would read some books watch our shows and sleep.  I would sit for hours with E sleeping on my chest. I was so nervous to take him out by myself. We’d had a few outings when Grandma was here but other than that when it was just E and me, we would go for short walks around the neighborhood to get out of the house and that was pretty much it.

As I gained more confidence in myself as a mom, I would pack E up along with a full diaper bag and we’d head to Target and look at baby clothes and get a Starbucks.  Soon, I felt like, “Hey, I’ve got this.” and our outings were more frequent and longer.  We spent many of our days hitting up Starbucks or Panera and then walking in the park.  I would bring my book and read while Evan snoozed in his stroller.  

I loved my maternity leave. Yes, the first 4 weeks were difficult but then after I stopped trying to nurse, things just clicked. I remember waking up one day shortly after I decided to stop nursing and just felt this amazing love for him.  From that moment I didn't want to leave E at all.  I loved holding him and as he grew I loved watching him start to play more and more.  The best is getting him to smile and laugh.  I could do that all day.  

I know the reality is that I have to work, especially now that we've made the decision Mike will be a stay at home Dad. But there are times when I would love to go back to those glorious 3 months. They were such a special time in my life.    

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