Thoughts on Maternity Leave

I'm nearing the end of my maternity leave and I go back to work in one week.  I have been so fortunate to have this time off to spend with Henry and I can't believe my 12 weeks is almost over.  These past three months have been the most exhausting, challenging yet most rewarding time in my life.

I received six weeks of paid time off from work, used two weeks of vacation and then four weeks of my time was unpaid.  At first I thought I would go back after eight weeks but in the end we decided that it was well worth it to be home with him during this time than receive a paycheck for one month.  I'm so happy with our decision.  This past month has been the best time with him.  We are finally settled in our new home and Henry is officially one happy baby boy.  Don't get me wrong, we still have our crying fits where I don't know what he needs but he is smiling and cooing and for the most part very content.

We have settled into a routine and when I go up to greet him in the morning he sees me and instantly stops crying and smiles his big gummy grin.  It's my favorite part of the day. I also love our afternoon walks with Henry and Bennett.  We have had an unusually warm winter and most afternoons it has been in the 60's-70's which is perfect for an afternoon stroll.  The good thing is two of my favorite things with him I will still get to do when I go back to work.  I will still get to pull him out of his crib in the morning and see his smiling face and we can still go on walks in the evening with Bennett.

I've recently had a lot of questions asking me if I'm ready to go back to work and if it will be hard and my answer to both is yes.  Yes, I'm ready and looking forward to going back to work and yes, it will be hard.  I enjoy what I do at the office and I enjoy the people I work with it.  I'm also looking forward to having adult conversations during the day.  However, I know it will be hard to leave him with anyone else.  I feel very comfortable with the childcare we have selected for Henry but I wonder if they will know how to hold him to put him to sleep, how he prefers to be fed and burped, and will they give him the love and attention a three month old needs??  Deep down I know he will be fine and this will be much harder for me than it is for him.  They will learn his wants and needs and will love him.  I am sure of it. How can someone not love this sweet boy?

And on that note, I am going to go and snuggle with my sweet baby and enjoy my last days with him before returning to work.

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