Reflections on Maternity Leave

The past three months on maternity leave I’ve learned…

…what it means to be a mother. I claim no knowledge of what it really takes to raise a daughter, but I am so proud to be a mother and to begin learning how to mother Audrey as she grows.

…daytime TV is super suck-o. Except for the Boy Meets World marathons and Extreme Couponing. Those were uber-awesome.

…you can read all sorts of blogs, books, how-tos, etc. about babies, but you gotta get in deep, get to know that little wiggly thing and learn along the way.

it’s OK to hold your baby as much as you want. You created her. You get first dibs.

…new mamas need a lot of encouragement and blogs like this one help heal the physical and emotional scarring.

…you will feel every possible emotion, probably within an hour, and still not know what to feel, think, do, or say. My advice is to lay down with your baby and just breathe.

…naps are cool.

…I’m choosing to look at the good things coming up rather than the sad things. So rather than being sad about leaving her, I’m focusing on how much she will learn and grow at daycare, how more special our time together will be, and enjoy my time to focus on creative things again at work.

…it’s easy to find blogs about stay at home moms or moms who work from home and how they balance new motherhood, but I’d love to read more about young professionals and moms who go back to work full time and balance it all. Maybe I’ll fill that void 🙂

…maternity leave ending is a weird feeling. A feeling of sadness as I think about leaving Audrey for the first time, a feeling of hope that I can still do the work I love and be a good mother, and a feeling of encouragement when she squeezes my finger after I ask her if she will be OK without me. I have faith that it will all be OK.

I have loved my time at home. I loved my time being pregnant. And now starts a new chapter as “working mom.” Here’s to this new adventure!