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16w and the End of Leave

30 Oct

Looks like it’s here. I’ve known it was coming since before it began, but it’s here. The end of maternity leave and the return to work. 

I was lucky enough to have 16 weeks at home with my kids this time. Though most people get 6-12 weeks, I got 16. A rarity and a true testament to the “family first” philosophy my boss shares. 16 weeks. 

At this point in my new son’s life, he’s cooing and smiling, bordering laughter. He’s happy and wonderful and I am truly blessed that he’s my little guy. Of all the mama’s laps he could have fallen out of the little cloud of baby angels he was chillin on before earth, he fell into mine. He’s been the peace to my storm and my joy in the bleakness that has surrounded my little family for the last few months. Well, he and his brother have been my joy, but toddlers are toddlers and baby’s can’t talk yet, so he’s not old enough to challenge me outside of normal baby challenges, yet… You understand what I’m saying. My Remy is a fireball. A lover and a fighter, stronger willed than many, hilarious and sweet, and a handful. My Desy is just pure joy. 

I’m lucky. I got him for 16 weeks. Through all the drama that’s occurred in that time, my comfort is in knowing that I had that time to handle it. If I had been at work while we went through the last 4 months worth of junk, I don’t know that I would still have a job. Instead of relaxing and soaking up my new baby’s newness, we’ve been confronting odds stacked so high up against us, we should have broken, but we didn’t because I had those 16 weeks.  
And now, they’re done. This was my last baby and therefore my last 16 weeks I’ll ever have to be in baby land, but it’s over. 

Tomorrow I’ll open my eyes and he’ll be turning one. The next day I’ll open my eyes and he’ll be turning two. Time passes so quickly with kids and while working, it passes at lightening speed. They grow up. We grow old. They take over. Omg. I’m 70 already! But time really does fly and starting tomorrow, we enter the super speed time warp that will have my kids graduating high school and off to college, getting married and having their own babies. 

I don’t want to miss his first laugh. I don’t want to miss his first steps. But I probably will and somehow I have to figure out how to be ok with that. 

My first day back happened to coincide exactly with Desy’s turning 16 weeks old.  
(Yes, he’s wearing the same outfit at the day he turned 13 weeks. #favorites)

This is what the counter looked like when I left the house in the morning with a sick baby at home:  
This is what my baby looked like when I left in the morning as I walked out the door: 
This is what my car looked like all packed up for the day:  

This was my desk at work:   

This is the room I pump in:   

This is the face I came back to: 

It’s going to be hard. I know that. Transitions often are. But the bottom line is that I’m a mama and my family needs to be able to rely on me inside and outside of the home for now. I am teaching my boys equality in the work-place. That women are strong. I’m teaching them that their mom would do anything to take care of them. I’m teaching them to dream and succeed. I’m teaching them that I love them and that no matter how far away I feel sometimes, I’m always there fighting for our family. 

Cheers to living for the weekend again! 

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