In just a few short weeks, my maternity leave will come to an end. I’ve had a few months to bond with our new baby girl, but the time has come to slide back into the trousers, battle the morning commute and re-charge the Blackberry battery. Mommy’s heading back to work.
Since I have two older children, I’ve returned from maternity leaves before. It’s tough to go from hours cuddling a newborn to marathon meetings, but at least I know what I’m in for … and that my baby won’t forget me. Still, it’s always rough leaving your small, precious loved one in the arms of another.
So what will I miss the most? Well, duh … of course I’ll miss my baby (and the other two kids), but here is a smattering of other routines and moments I’ll miss once I re-emerge into the workforce (I’m sure other working moms can relate):
1. My morning walks with the baby and dog. What a wonderful way to start the day, taking in nature and getting some exercise, rather than sucking in freeway fumes as I battle the work-week commute.
2. Running errands in the middle of the week … in the middle of the day. Who are these people who grocery shop on Wednesdays and casually stroll the aisles for the ingredients of their well-planned meals? And the parking lot and check-out lanes are a dream at Target and Costco mid-week. Oh, how I’ll miss the time saved with these stress-free jaunts.
3. Dropping my other two kids off at school in sweats and running shoes. Once I’m back to work, it’s back to heels and dry-cleaned attire … and I’ll envy those other moms who look so comfy as they walk their kids to school.
4. Being able to pick my kids up from school. As the parent who has the longer commute, my husband does the pick-ups. But for the past few months it’s been so much fun to catch my kiddos right after school and ask them about their days in the daylight hours. Any working parent knows that pick-ups are way more fun than drop-offs.
5. Nursing. I’ll still aim to nurse my daughter for as long as possible, but that means as a full-time working mom I’ll need to pump … and pumping sucks. Once I’m back at work I’ll need to somehow discreetly sneak away twice a day to pump and store my milk. I love that my child will be getting the health benefits of my milk, but someone else gets to bond with her when she gets that milk. Plus pumping at work is such a pain.
There are so many other little and big moments that I’ll miss. Things are just calmer when either my husband or I’m at home to manage the house and kids. Still, we will adjust and settle into a new norm. I’ll have fewer hours with my kids, but I’ll just have to make the hours I do have count more. Who cares about the laundry, reality TV or sleep? As long as my kids know that I love them, we’ll be OK.