Going back to work

It’s 6am and I can’t sleep. Sam woke up at about 4:45 to nurse, and I’ve been tossing and turning since I put him back down.

With about a month and a half left to my Maternity leave, I’m getting increasingly anxious about going back to work. In Canada, we are very fortunate to have 12 months of maternity leave, which is awesome and I try really hard to be thankful for that and think of all the women who are not so lucky.

That said – I am very apprehensive about my return. I like my job – my team of 20 year olds is great, and I love working with young adults. I like the projects I’m given, the difference we’re making in the students lives, the meetings, etc. But deep down, I know I’m never, ever going to feel as completely happy as I am raising my son, and that scares me. I don’t want to spend my time doing something I don’t love. Don’t get me wrong- being at home with S isn’t always easy – it’s challenging and sometimes long, even. But each day I am with him I feel so fulfilled. All I was ever really sure of was that I wanted to be a mom – so maybe that’s all I should be doing?

Thinking of not working is exciting for about 3 minutes, because the excitement and joy at the thought is soon replaced by worry. How would we make ends meet without my income? Of course, we could cut down our expenses, get a smaller home, budget more. But then what about S? I want him to be able to sign up for sports, to visit his cousin in the Yukon, to go away to Summer Camp, and have a nice yard where he could play. And don’t even get me started on retirement!

My husband is a very hardworking entrepreneur, and his startup is doing well. The stability, though, just isn’t there – so is it a good idea to depend on him financially?

I just want my son to have everything, and keep going over the scenarios in my head, the thoughts bouncing around like a pingpong ball and going back and forth, with every “maybe I…” followed by “but then…”

How did you decide to work or stay home? I need perspective.

I didn’t expect parenthood to be so sweet

I

t sounds crazy, right? You toss and turn thinking about this new baby who will soon be born. You think of everything you need to do, read, plan and prepare for their arrival.

You picture the closeness of nursing and cuddling, the cuteness of the first smile,  the amazement at their first words. You picture a lifetime of pride, of growth, of Christmas’ and Halloweens and Birthdays. You picture dirty diapers and laughs. I did expect me to adore my child. But I didn’t expect, exactly, for it to be so, so sweet.

Yesterday, at around 10pm, Sam woke up crying in his crib. He’s been swatting at his ears a lot lately, and is sticking his thumb way back in his mouth – we think his first molars are bothering him. Anyway, Jay and I were just about to go to bed so we quickly finished getting ready and I went to get him. The minute I picked him up he stopped crying, and started nuzzling in my neck. As I sat in the glider, he did the strangest thing: he tried to lay down on top of me. He tried several times since as he couldn’t get comfortable – I wasn’t exactly horizontal. I was trying so hard not to laugh, but it was clear he was just treating me like his crib mattress. After a while of him getting more and more antsy, I decided to bring him to bed with us for a bit. He cuddled with me for a minute, and then moved completely away from me and positioned himself face down in our bed (as he does in his crib) and fell asleep. His little feet were rubbing together, on my stomach. The sweetness of that moment – of his little feet moving, of his chest rising and falling – I didn’t expect the immensity of it. The sheer vastness of the sweetness, of the love inside my heart. It’s just, indescribable.

It happens often, too. When he laughs because I pretend his feet are smelly. When he puts his head down, focused, before crawling as fast as he can towards something he knows I’ll take away from him if I get there first. When he tries to stick his teethers in my mouth because, well, he loves me. When he opens his mouth wide, and just kinda presses it on our cheeks to give us kisses. When he sleeps with his bum way up in the air. In all those precious small moments, I can’t help but think to myself that I never, ever imagined parenthood would be so sweet. The love this big.

I am smitten.