The End of My Maternity Leave

This is my last week at home on maternity leave. It’s hard to believe that just a little more than 8 weeks ago I was at work, wrapping up projects, emails and meetings and telling everyone that I had a week before my due date. That last Friday in January I had to convince my coworkers that I’d be seeing them again on Monday.

Boy was I wrong.

My company permitted me to take 6 weeks off, and thanks to a surplus of vacation days, I opted to take another 2 weeks. Giving me a full 2 months off to spend with my new little boy.

It’s working out well, that he’s received his two month immunizations just in time to start daycare.

Yes, daycare.

I do not feel guilty about sending my infant to school. The center I chose has a great facility, experienced teachers and caregivers, and a curriculum that promotes learning and healthy lifestyles. Baby yoga, sign language and music even.

I’m looking forward to working again. I know, it’s weird, but I don’t think I’m a stay at home mom. At least not during this infant stage. Don’t get me wrong, I love my son, but I have to admit, he’s only entertaining for a little while each day. I try to best utilize those moments that he’s awake with games of peek-a-boo, reading books, and rattling toys. I know as he continues to grow and learn I’ll probably hate all of the time away from him when I do start back at work.

My biggest concern about going back to work next week is getting enough sleep. We’re working on getting a bedtime routine that starts earlier. Colt is still waking 2 to 3 times a night. We get a few stretches of up to 3 and a half hours of sleep at a time, but I’m still getting up, feeding him and pumping. I’m trying to reduce the amount of time I’m awake at each time.

If I have one regret, it’s from not putting more effort into breastfeeding while I was off. I had to come to terms with pumping and bottle feeding so early, that I didn’t think about how it could impact my sleep later.

Granted, there is hope that our little peanut will be sleeping through the night soon. According to Lucie’s List, infants tend to start sleeping through the night usually when they’ve reached 10 to 13 pounds, and Colt is weighing in at 11.

My other fear is that I’ll forget all of the stuff I have to take with me. I have a bag for work, a bag for daycare and my pump bag. And each of those bags have very important contents. This is something I’ve already had nightmares about.

And then we have mornings like today, where Colt had slept really well the night before, waking up at 1am and 5am. Mike got up and fed Colt at 1 while I pumped. At 5am, I fed Colt, and put him back to bed. Then made myself a cup of coffee, pumped, spent some time on the Internet and got some errands done before he woke back up at 7:30. We even had a good 15 minutes of breastfeeding.

I think that once I can get a decent routine for bedtime and the morning, things won’t be so bad. I need to stop stressing over the unavoidable and just take things day by day.

Do you have any tips for making the transition back to work easier?

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