Today is the last day of my maternity leave before I return to work full time. It’s a strange moment. I’m not worried about work. Nor am I worried about Emily as she will be with her daddy. I guess I’m just sad that we have to move on.
I love being a mum! It’s changed me so much. I’ve become passionate and nerdy about things I never cared about before. I’ve made new friends that have become so important to me. I’ve seen my husband grow into the new role of father and I love him even more because of it. I’ve seen my parents and parents-in-law embrace the role of grandparents and it melts my heart. Our home has moved from a being a quiet sanctuary to a buzz of life. It’s all wonderful!
When I look back over the last year I really couldn’t tell you about any of the negative bits. Even the giving birth bit has just disappeared into a haze of memory. But, I could tell you in detail about the all the bits I’ve loved. Here’s some highlights:
This is my new favourite thing ever! The closeness to Emily, the fact that my milk was all she had for the first six months, the snugly, never ending feeds in the first handful of weeks, the kicking me in the face now, the night time booby cuddles, the boobing sessions in restaurants, zoos, parks, shopping centres and the Houses of Parliament. It’s fantastic! And it’s something I always do with my favourite little person gazing up at me. I’ll miss the quick boobing sessions throughout the day but I know we will make up for it overnight. I want to breastfeed forever!
Again I bloody love it! I grab my favourite carrier, chuck Emily in it and we go off and conquer the world. I’ve carried Emily for most of my maternity leave. We’ve been on walks along the beach, in the woods, around the sea life centre. She’s slept, chatted, pointed, stroked my face, breastfed and shoved fingers up my nose whilst in one. She’s seen me cook dinner, have eye-level conversations with people, do the housework, everything. Plus there’s a whole load of carriers to choose from in different designs and patterns, so it’s something else for me to Google and buy!
There are so many more interesting things to do with our time now we’ve got Emily. Before there was a lot of going to the pub or the cinema, which was fine, but now we can do all sorts. We spend a lot of our time thinking about activities that Emily will enjoy. Some of these are indoors, at home events like sensory things or play time activities.
Others are outdoors! Exploring the world! We try and take Emily outdoors as much as we can so we’ve been to parks, woods, the seaside, fed the ducks, been to zoos, aquariums, country parks, libraries, museums. Emily loves it! She loves seeing new things and meeting new people. She’s so nosey! But watching her face, taking all these experiences in, is just a delight.
Ok so this is a bit of a selfish one to end with but I couldn’t exclude it. Becoming a mother has shown me that I can do anything. Never in my life have I felt more vulnerable than when I’m watching the most precious person in the world wandering around next to me, but, because of this, I know I must be strong. I have sustained another human with my body. I have coped emotionally with things that have pushed me to the edge. God, I haven’t had more than three hours sleep in 11 months now, and shockingly I don’t mind. If anything I’m happy about this! I know that my body is capable of so much more than I ever gave it credit for. I’m bloody pleased to be a woman! I’m awesome!
Anyway I’ve rambled again but I could’ve gone on. I know that going back to work doesn’t put an end to any of this, but I know things will be different. I’ll have to find a new routine. A way to balance my family and my work. Or I could just have another baby!! That sounds like a plan!