In a months time my maternity leave will be coming to an end and I will be returning to work.
The thing is, I don’t really know how I feel about it.
At this very moment, when thinking about returning to work full time, my heart aches and there is a lump in my throat. I don’t want to go back. There, I said it. I want to stay at home with my son and watch him grow.
I have been trying to convince myself that maternity leave is not “normality”. It’s just a section of leave after having a baby. For us, “normality” will be dropping T off at nursery and going to work. But I don’t want that to be our normality. I want to stay with T. But we can’t afford it.
What if I miss something? What if he misses me? Will he eat? Will he sleep?
I know that nursery will do him the world of good. It will socialise him further and encourage independence. For me, I will get some of my identity back. I can’t argue with that. However, the selfish part of me wants to stay at home with him and keep him all to myself. There, I said it again.
See, I’ve loved maternity leave. I knew I would. Don’t get me wrong, there have been hard times, moments of despair, occasions when I’ve been exhausted. But becoming a mother has been my dream. My goal. So maternity leave was my time to finally enjoy what I’ve been longing for for so long. Become the mother I always wanted to be.
But the trouble with maternity leave is that you fall into this sense of comfort. A routine. Every week is roughly the same. Baby groups, swimming, “play/coffee dates”, library visits. For some, this would be/is hell. For me, it was perfection. I was finally a parent, doing “parenty” things, hanging out with my baby. I loved it. I really did.
At the moment I’m trying to soak up every second, cherish every minute. Not because he’s growing up, that bit is quite exciting now, but because it’s all going to change soon. I wonder if he knows this time we have at the moment is going to end soon? I hope not, I certainly wouldn’t want him to feel the way I feel right now.