Some people told me that by six months I would be dying to get back to work. Not this Mama. I loved every minute of mat leave. Upon reflection, I think mine was a little different than most first-time mothers. With Avery's three brothers part-time at home, I had little down time over the past year. When I would tell the new mothers in my Mommy groups that we also had three little guys I would be met with wide-eyed stares, murmurs of astonishment and a few glances of something between awe and pity.
Avery and I had a great year - watching her grow, change, define her personality - it all amazed me at every step of the way. She made friends...Jacob, JJ, all the babes at our Mom's groups. We travelled to England, Edmonton and Orlando. We walked and walked with Auntie Sarah, Avery joined me in training for my half marathon, and she met all her friends and family along the way.
For the most part, she was an easy baby, which I know is a gift, and I know made my life somewhat easier, and for that I am thankful. Because she slept, I was able to get things done: laundry, showering, baking, cooking, cleaning and more. She would hit the pillow and I would go into overdrive. Sometimes more than I should have...I regret not having taken a little more time to relax while she was sleeping. Live and learn.
Things I am going to miss when I return to work: The daily sweet cling of my baby after her morning nap, the way she clamps onto her spoon at lunch and holds it in mid air, laughing her head off. I'm going to miss seeing her discover something new and laugh in delight. And yes, I know that I will still have a million moments with her and lifetime of awesomeness, but it is the daily wonder that I am already missing.
She is at a wonderful daycare and will be nurtured and cared for there, and I will return to the world of digital marketing, and have grown up conversations and make very-important-strategic-decisions but oh how I will miss being my baby's daily and constant source of comfort, fun and joy. It is a hard hard thing to relinquish the development and safety of your child to a group of strangers, no matter how competent and excellent they are.
It will all be ok - and I know that I'll find a new routine that works, and this is just how it has to be (mortgage, retirements, bills...all those pesky things that require income). I'll put away my yoga pants and stretchy tops in favour of heels and business attire. I'll eat more than just peanut butter and toast, chunks of mangos and cheerios for lunch. But the damp, hot press of Avery's cheek against mine after waking, the sudden tight squeeze when she throws her arms around my neck when we walk downstairs, and her delighted screech after she opens and closes her door for the twentieth time...it is so hard to leave that behind.