Sunday, November 6, 2016

Back to work!

This is my last week of maternity leave. I definitely have mixed feelings about it! Lewis will be going to daycare, and while i feel very comfortable with the quality of care he'll receive, of course I worry. I know that when the day comes, I'm going to feel some separation anxiety, but right now, what has me most worried is how Lewis will nap.

Right now I feel like I spend most of my day putting him down for naps because he gets tired and fussy pretty fast after waking up, but takes a lot of short naps. Every now and then he'll have a killer 2+ hour nap, but most of his naps are 30-45 minutes. He gets fussy about 30 min to an hour after waking up and we repeat the nap cycle.

Right now he's taking his naps in a swing. It's what works for us, but at daycare he'll be napping in a crib. When I try to put him down for naps in his bassinet, unless he's pretty passed out, he screams, so this could be interesting. I keep reminding myself that these people have seen hundreds of children and will know how to take care of him, and he'll be fine. But I just have this mental image of him being so tired and screaming but refusing to fall asleep in the crib. I guess we'll see :/ (and a caveat... Please no sleep advice. I've already read a million things and we're just trying to do what works for us)

I feel a little guilty admitting this, but in some ways I'm excited to take him to daycare. Staying home with him has been a little challenging for me. I know we're in a difficult stage right now and it won't always be this way, but I feel pretty exasperated after a long day of playing "put Lewis down for a nap" all day. I love the time I get with him when he's awake and happy. He's started smiling and would give me bigger smiles than Greg for awhile. I feel like he does recognize me as someone who takes care of him. I love that, and it freaks me out to think of going from being with him all day everyday to only being with him evenings and weekends. But I don't know how people do it! Staying home with him has made me feel an enormous amount of pressure to get everything right. And Lewis is a pretty passionate child, so it's easy to feel like I'm doing everything wrong.

I read something the other day that really resonated with me as I prepare to return to work. Someone on Facebook said "motherhood is not a job; it's a relationship". I'm still his mother even if I'm not the one changing his diaper, feeding him, etc., all day. Nothing can take away the special relationship of me being his mother. Of course I knew that, and i know that kids who go to daycare still grow up knowing who their mom and dad are and that their mom and dad love them, but it's easy to forget that and worry, especially right now as I'm being cut off cold turkey!

Of course I also worry about how we'll manage meals and housework once we're both back at work. And I definitely worry about how I'll function if I'm sleep deprived. Lewis and I have been sleeping in until 9 most morning and now we're going to have to wake up early! He sleeps good most nights, but we have rough nights here and there. Since I'm breastfeeding, I handle almost all of the nighttime duties, and going back to work means no more napping for me! This will be yet another new phase in our lives that we will adjust to.

Maternity leave went by really fast. As a friend put it, "the days are long, but the weeks go fast." In the midst of the painful parts, it didn't feel fast, but here I am, 12 weeks almost over. I'm incredibly grateful to have had this time with him, but here's to the next phase!

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