Maternity leave. Short term disability for pregnancy. FMLA. It doesn’t matter what you call it, the time off and away from the office after baby has to come to an end for all of us work-outside- the-home moms at some point. I had such illusions of grandeur of the things I would accomplish while I was off from work. I dreamed of how much scrapbooking I would get done during Jed’s first weeks in this world, the new Hartzell family blog that I wanted to create, and of course lunching in the afternoon with all my working friends with a perfectly outfitted Jed in tow.
However, reality set in quickly after coming home from the hospital. Newborn babies, as we all know, have no routine. I am blessed that my husband wanted (and was able) to take a few weeks (ok six) off from work. With him home and because of the long commute to Baby’s preschool, Baby was rewarded with a six week vacation by default. Our whole family was home, and what a busy home it became.
Our days were filled with fun and love. There were days we wore pajamas all day, others that we were dressed and went shopping or to the playground. No matter what we did, we did it as a family. It was wonderful, but after six weeks of continuous playtime, Daddy and Baby went back to work and preschool. I was left alone at home with Jed for two more weeks. Two whole weeks! What would I do? Like clockwork, again the illusions started in my head. Lunching with friends. Visiting the office. Working on the family blog. Oh, how much stuff I would get done! Would it shock you to say that I did none of those things for a second time?
As I sit on the edge of returning to work, (back today actually!) I am slightly saddened by the thought of giving up the time alone with Jed (and for those that follow me on Twitter, my new favorite show, Bones). I wonder how I am going to manage our busy life of two full-time working parents, a preschooler, and a newborn all wrapped up with a long commute to the office and two separate daycare providers. My guess is caffeine. Long live coffee and other caffeinated beverages for this mommy. If I can stay awake enough to enjoy the evening hours with my family and the nighttime feedings for Jed, I know I will be happy being back to work. Do I feel sad for all the things I listed that I didn’t do while I was free for 8 weeks? I have to admit honestly, no. I spent the time exactly how I wanted- with my family (even if the only thing the family blog actually has so far is a web address). I promise when it has more than an address, I will share it with you all. Did you spend the time exactly how you wanted to the last time you were free from the office? If not, maybe you will for the next one.