Well... the time has come. I knew it was going to sneak up on me fast, but I didn't really realize just how fast my 10 weeks of maternity leave would fly by. My 70 days of just me and my girl are now etched in my memory as the most wonderful blur of snuggling, diaper changing, feeding, singing, staring, and more snuggling. I would give anything to have them back, but because our money tree out back hasn't blossomed yet, I cried my eyes out, put on my big girl clothes, and woefully made my way back to work this past Tuesday morning.
It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Harder than moving away from home to go to college, harder than giving birth, even harder than that time in 6th grade when I went away to basketball camp and got so homesick I was convinced I was surely going to die from sadness and had to have my coach's wife take me home early.
Leaving my precious little girl as she stared up at me from her car seat and dropping her off as I faced a long 8 hour day was rough. I cried... A lot. And every time one of my coworkers mentioned her or asked how she was doing, I broke down. My poor eyes were puffy and red all day long, and I basically stared at my clock all day counting down until 5:00.
Tuesday night, as soon as we got home from what seemed like the longest evening commute ever, I grabbed her little self out of that car seat and fed her and stared at her face and wondered how it was possible that she already seemed so much bigger than she did that morning. I changed her diaper as she looked up at me with her smiley little face and told me stories about her day, and then we made our way to the couch and she fell asleep on my chest and finally... all was right with the world again.
I am so thankful that my mom is watching Marleigh during the days. If I had to drop her off with strangers at daycare, I think I would be sick to my stomach all day every day thinking/worrying about her. To all you mommies who have to do that: here is a big hug from me to you. You are way stronger than I am!
Thankfully, being out of the office for 10 weeks means that I have a ton of catching up to do, which makes my days go by pretty fast. I am so looking forward to this weekend (even though Luke's going to be gone on a hunting trip until Sunday). I can't wait to snuggle, hug, and kiss my little girl's chubby cheeks all weekend long!
Moral of the story? I did it, you guys. I survived my first week back at work. It wasn't easy, and I still feel like someone is tugging at my heart every time I leave her in the mornings, but I lived. And to make things even better? The amazing owner of my company announced yesterday that we all get 7 days of paid vacation the week of/after Christmas. That means from December 22nd until January 2nd, I will be home. In my pajamas, most likely. With my little family. Watching Christmas movies, and drinking cocoa (and probably some Baileys, because duh), and sleeping in, and taking naps, and doing all the wonderful things that are to be done on a surprise week off from work!
I hope you all had a wonderful week, and that you have an even better weekend. If you need me, I'll be smothering my child with all the lovin' she can handle!