I really wish that my posts weren’t so sporadic. It’s not that I don’t have things to discuss; I just don’t have the time!
A lot has happened in the past few months. First off, my daughter somehow turned 1 year old. For the life of me, I cannot believe it has been a year. I legitimately feel like we brought home our 6lb 14oz bundle yesterday. Now she is almost walking, is able to say about 5 different words, and she doesn’t look like a baby anymore. I love her more than anything in the entire world. It is all-consuming. Although I love all her new developments and watching her grow, I really do miss my cuddly little newborn. That leads me to the next point.
I am pregnant with our second child! As of today, I am just over 17 weeks. I had an obstetrician appointment yesterday, and so far so good. Mommy and baby are healthy :). This pregnancy has been a completely different experience than my first (not bad just different), but we will discuss this more in a later post. My husband and I are over the moon with excitement. Ava and her sibling will be only 18 months apart (we feel crazy), but we hope that they will be close. Let the fun begin!
This now brings me to the topic of this post. A couple of months ago, we made the decision that I would not return to work after my maternity leave ended. I say “we” because it really was a joint decision. My husband and I discussed it for a long time and at the end of the day, it just made sense. Although I have been judged and have had many opinions thrust my way, I have zero regrets about our choice. I’m going to explain why.
I will never regret spending extra time with my child, but I would certainly regret losing time with her. My mom was not well off. She lived paycheck to paycheck and received a government subsidy to help with our financial needs. Because of this, she had to work and I was put in daycare. Do not get me wrong, I loved daycare. I never felt like my mom didn’t love me, or that I was being abandoned. I had fun with my friends and learned lots; I didn’t suffer. Now as a mother, I see how difficult it probably was for my mom to leave me every day. She never got to attend my school events, and our evenings were extremely rushed. I don’t have many memories of us having fun because she was so exhausted. She passed away when I was 13 years old. When I look back, I hardly got any time with her at all. My career can wait, but my little girl will only be little for a short period of time.
And that’s it. That’s reason enough. In this life, we do not know how much time we have. It’s a big old secret, and that’s okay. It makes every single moment that much more precious.
I do feel the need to elaborate a tad bit more. Just because I said I have no regrets does not mean that I don’t miss aspects of work.
For one, interacting with a baby all day can be tough. It’s fun, but I can’t yet have an intelligent conversation with her. Going to work each day and being able to socialize with my coworkers and patients is not something I take for granted.
I also miss going to the bathroom by myself. I think any mother can agree with this. Just as I close the door and sit down to pee, I hear little hands and feet going down the hallway as fast as they can. I then hear breathing, and suddenly little fingers pop under the door. Just like that, my privacy is gone. It makes me laugh because my mom always told me that I did the same thing. I think every kid has done that to their mom. Still, it would be nice to take three minutes to empty my bladder in peace.
I miss using all of my brain. A huge part of being a mother is using your natural instincts to care for your child. We sing lots, read a ton, and have little dance parties. There is plenty of cuddling, walks in the river valley, grocery store trips, etc., but I don’t have to problem-solve on a regular basis anymore. Now there is some problem-solving. For instance, I constantly have to figure out how to keep my kid from rolling over while I’m struggling to change her dirty diaper, but it isn’t quite the same as balancing accounts :p. What I mean is that I don’t write as much, or do math regularly. I’m pretty sure that the part of my brain used to compute statistic equations is either on a permanent vacation, or in a very deep sleep. I’m university educated and am used to thinking a certain way. I guess I can think of it as me being able to use a different part of my brain now, the “mom brain”.
Of course, I miss having a paycheck. Anyone would. That being said, we budget accordingly and we are totally fine. This isn’t forever and I have found ways of making money from home in the meantime.
So there it is, my brief explanation of why I didn’t return to work. If you are at that point in your maternity leave where you have to make the big decision, I do not envy you. It isn’t an easy choice. Just remember that whatever you choose needs to be right for YOUR family. Don’t worry about opinions 🙂