The End

Dear Brantley,

Where do I even begin?  Tonight is very bittersweet.  The final night before I head back to work.  I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later.  It just seems like it happened a lot sooner than later.  I can not believe it's already the end of October!

I've been home with you for fifteen full weeks, not counting the six weeks of summer break you spent in my belly.  Those fifteen weeks have been incredible, amazing, rewarding, sentimental, awesome, relaxing (yes, relaxing!), terrific, heartwarming, the list could go on and on.  They were perhaps the best fifteen weeks of my life.  I feel inclined to say there have been challenges along the way, but once we made it home from the hospital, there really haven't been!  You are such a good baby and have made these past fifteen weeks so very easy on mommy.  Thank you!

Of course, I'm excited to go back to work.  I love my job.  I love my co-workers.  And of course, I love the students.  I've always said I have no interest in being a stay-at-home mommy.  And I still feel that way.  But at the same time, I'm very, very emotional about returning to work in less than twelve short hours.

Many moms admit to being worried about their child at daycare.  I'm really not.  I know your babysitter will care for you and love you so very much.  And I know you will meet lots of friends at daycare.  I have no fear about that.

Many moms feel guilty for going back to work and not "being there" on a daily basis for their children.  That's not me either.  My mom always worked (as did my friends' moms) and I have never thought it any other way.  Working is just something we do.  I love being able to enjoy life and the things we do because I work.

I'm not worried.  And I don't feel guilty.  I'm just going to miss you.  Terribly.  And that's why I'm so, so heartbroken.

I'm also sad for the moments, the milestones I going to miss.  Because, let's face it, there will be many.  Your babysitter may be the first to hear to talk.  The first to see you walk.  And that just kills me.

I'm sad I won't be there the moment you wake up each morning.  Sad I won't get to see your face light up the moment you see me.  Sad I'll likely rush off to work before you even wake up.

Sad we don't get to play, and run errands, and take naps together.  Sad I don't get to hang out with you, my little buddy, my sweet baby boy, all day long.

As I prepare to go back, I can't help but think of all the emotions I've been through over the past six months.  Crying at my desk last spring, overcome with sadness about your hydrocephalus brain; accepting the possibility of a child with special needs; hoping and praying more than ever for a normal "healthy" baby; leaving school in May thinking the next time I set foot there, I'd have a baby; learning you were being admitted to the NICU; learning you had meningitis and needed two full weeks in the NICU; the love and support of family and friends; the excitement of finally bringing you home and showing you off to your visitors, my students, and even strangers in public; the joy of seeing you smile, roll over, and laugh for the very first time; the delight in knowing you recognize me as your mommy.

I feel incredibly lucky to have that title.  To be your mommy.  And for that, I am blessed. 

I never really understood moms that struggled with going back to work.  It's just eight hours, right?  Yeah, right.  Now that I'm in this position, I get it.  I've cried.  And cried.  And cried.  Like every other day for a week.  Even more.  I cried a few weeks ago, just thinking about what was to come.  Eight hours is a long time to be away from the one thing you love the most.  Oh, Brantley, you will never even know how much I love you.

I saw this on Facebook tonight.  Talk about perfect timing.

So, although this is the end of maternity leave, it is the beginning, as well.  The beginning of my new life, my new normal.  And I couldn't be happier.  I look forward to all that this new beginning has to offer.  I will cherish our nights together and promise to be the very best working mommy I can be.  Love you, little man!

Your Mommy

1 comment:

  1. Ahhh- I know exactly how you feel!! I am headed back to work bittersweet! Hope your first day went well!