When you become a new mother, your life suddenly revolves around time.
In those early days – time to breastfeed. Setting alarms in the middle of night to ensure your newborn is well fed, and your nursing relationship well established. Then there is the scheduling involved when leaving the house – okay, when are nap times? How long until baby gets hungry? How much time before you are faced with hunger or tiredness? Then baby gets older, and bedtime routines are established – what time does baby start to get tired? When should we start our routine? What is the optimal time for baby to go down for the night to ensure the least wakeups?
Slowly but surely, your life begins to revolve around the clock.
And then, you need to deal with the lingering sense of time, passing too quick, in the back of your mind. Constantly. You go from counting the weeks to counting the months, 6 week olds become near one-year olds in the blink of an eye. And you are so busy from your days spent scheduling and watching the clock that your head spins as you try to grasp onto something, ANYTHING, to just make the time slow down.
As McKenna’s birthday approaches, I have not one, but two, big dates marked in red in the calendar in my head – December 1, the day my baby turns 1 year old. I still can’t really form words to express how this feels to a mama, but I am working on it. The second date is December 28 – the day where my maternity leave runs out, and I am due to return to work.
I have commented SO MANY TIMES (here, here and here for starters) about my hesitance in returning to work. I have discussed my feelings with Matthew, with relatives, with friends. I have spent endless hours watching McKenna play and thinking about what is really the best thing for her, my wonderful little girl. I have tried to reassure myself everything WILL BE OKAY. Countless of mothers do not even have the amount of time I have so graciously been granted. Countless of mothers have faced this change at the year mark and their BABIES ARE FINE. But I still felt as though I was doing far too much convincing.
I am now, happy to report, that our family has come to a decision. A decision both Matthew and myself are at peace with. I will remain at home until the end of winter, allowing ourselves 3 more months of time. Time to nurse, time to sleep train (I prefer sleep teach), time to wean, time to play, and time to grow independence. I am so happy to be able to remain at home with McKenna during the cold and flu season, and I feel as though McKenna will be better prepared for childcare, and I will be ready to return to work come April, 2014, after being given this extraordinary gift of just a little more time.
I cannot even begin to express my gratitude to Matthew for this decision. I knew I wanted it to be one we came to together, and I am happy it has turned out to be so. I know this time is a luxury that many could not afford, and for that reason, I will not take a single second of it for granted.
I woke up this morning feeling such peace. All because of this beautiful family that I am so happy to call my own, that never stops growing.I am the luckiest girl in the world. 🙂