Maternity leave and Anna Q’s story (from Taylor’s post below)

Happy Memorial Day Ladies!  Sorry for the lapse in posts, but we went to Kelleys Island (so relaxing!…except for Madeline waking up and talking to herself all night…does it ever get predictable??).

I wanted to write a bit more on the story by Anna Quindlen that Taylor posted below.  As I read the post, I got goose bumps and tears started welling in my eyes – it seems so far away to think of our little one, a baby, growing up to be 20, 30, 50+  Scary!  One part that really hit close to home was where she speaks of worrying about accomplishing milestones to the point where you don’t even see anything else – you miss all of the little moments worrying about the big ones.

It’s funny to me because that was totally me before I went back to work.  I remember being with Madeline all day and by the end of the day I felt as though I hadn’t spent any time with her.  I was going about my day- shopping, going to lunch with friends, & picking up around the house – and I felt as if I was missing something, some sort of connection with my baby.  It was as if I had too much time with her – can there even be such a thing??  I felt like I was losing a bit of myself and my connection with my daughter and I wasn’t quite sure what to do about it.

The closer I got to the end of my maternity leave, the more I worried about balancing everything:  work, baby, husband, friends, family, and finding enough time for each.  I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it actually was.  I come to work and get to go to the bathroom when I want, get coffee when I want, and even go to lunch…alone…if I want.  I get my “me” time which I find invigorates my relationship with my daughter as well as with my husband.  I also found that although the amount of time I spend with Madeline is less, the quality has improved dramatically.   No longer do I let an entire day go by and not relish every moment we have together.  I think that having the time apart is good for both of us.  I allows me to really appreciate the time I do spend with her and it allows me to get away and have time with other people.  It’s good for her too because she gets to play with other children & spend time with her grandparents (my mom watches her one day a week).

I felt so guilty about going back to work, but I really think it has worked out well for us.  I know that work isn’t the answer for everyone, but I think that having something to do on my own (some people work out, join a club or women’s group) has helped to kept me sane over the last 5 months.

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