Last Day of Maternity Leave

Today is/was my last day of maternity leave, and it makes me tear up every time I think about it.  It's cruel in a way - I think FMLA gives you 12 weeks off of work because it takes that long for a new baby to become manageable.  As soon as that happens, they force you back to work, without any time to really enjoy your baby who is finally on a good schedule, smiling back and you and becoming that little bundle of joy that you were expecting from day one.

It's not so much that I hate the idea of going back to work so much as I hate the idea of leaving EH at daycare for such an incredible chunk of his day.  He's going to spend all but one or two of his waking hours - five days a week - with people other than his family.  And when we do finally get to spend time with him at home, that time also needs to be spent doing all of those household chores that you also can't get done because you're at work all day - laundry, cooking, dishes, vacuuming, etc. 

I wish there was a way to work slightly less hours without sacrificing income.  Of course, that's probably everyone's goal in life - work less, get paid more. 

Even though we pay for daycare by the week regardless of how many days he spends there, I chose not to take him there today.  DH couldn't believe it.  But I wanted one last day at home with him, where he could have all of the attention from me that he wanted. 

Everything that he's learned so far, all of his sleeping and eating habits, all of smiles, have been because of me (or us really, but if we're being honest, most of it was me since I just happened to be the one who has spent the most time with him thus far.)  Soon that will no longer be the case, and more likely than not DH and I won't be around for the a lot of his "first" milestones - first word, first crawl, first step, etc.  Of course we'll still rejoice those "firsts" when we get to see them the first time ourselves, but seriously, what are the odds that we'll be around the very first time considering that hes going to be away from us for nearly 50 hours a week?

I should probably stop thinking about it, but I can't get past the fact that I feel like someone else will be raising EH from now on.  I really really really hope that everything goes well at day care.  I hope that his daily "report card" shows that he's eating and sleeping as well as he has been at home, and I hope that he comes home each day not so exhausted that all he does is cry and scream.  I hope that I can still spend at least a little quality time with him when I get home from work, even though he'll have to go to bed a mere hour after I get home. 

I'm sad. I'm just so sad, every time I think about it.  And I can't stop thinking about it.  So I'm going to stop writing this now, and go spend the next hour or so with my little guy, until he has to go to bed and wake up to his new life.  Which starts tomorrow.


Stephanie @ This Casita said...

It is so hard at first, but in time it will get easier. Hang in there and best of luck on your first day back!

Abby said...

Sending you and EH good thoughts today! I hope you both have a good evening, celebrating the start of your new adventures. (Cheesy, but true. Seriously, growing pains are tough, but you guys will make it work.)

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