Maternity leave is weird. I found it to be a month of adjusting to the disruptive disregulating force that is a newborn, followed by a month of Netflix, followed by a month of waiting for it to be over. I felt like I was living someone else’s life – someone who chooses to be home with a child.
It’s a lot of caretaking. It’s endless hours of diapers, feeding, diapers, rocking, diapers, feeding, and more diapers. It’s small victories (a 45-minute nap in his crib) and defeats (another laundry debacle.) It’s worrying about breastmilk and rashes and sleeping patterns and the shape of his skull.
It’s a lot of changes to my body and my person – hormones and breastfeeding and healing, both physically and mentally. It takes longer than I had remembered.
It’s also a massive adjustment period for the entire family – babyDiva (who is more like bigGIrlDiva now) took to miniDivo immediately – she couldn’t have been sweeter or more attentive – “him needs pacifier” “him cold, him need blanket” “I turn on his white noise?” “‘s’okay Micah, we’re coming…!” But my own adjustment to being two creatures’ mom was not as smooth.
But parts of leave were lovely, too. miniDivo was small enough that I could put him in a carrier or stroller and get out and do things – like walk around the city, meet friends for lunch, tour the Taza Chocolate factory, and see the Patriots at training camp! I formed and grew wonderful friendships this summer.
And miniDivo is a great little guy. He’s content, smiles easily, and sleeps well. He’s happy swatting at his toys. I give it a week until he reliably sucks his thumb.
On extremely hot or rainy days, I set the standard for binge-watching television. If this kid doesn’t grow up to flip houses, I’ll be very surprised. Amazon Prime Video and Netflix kept me busy too.
Our family of four got out lots of weekends to parks, farms, and even a trip to the Cape. We had many family members visit to help out and spend time with us.
But now it’s back to work. Back to “real life” – which is the life I want and the life I choose. A life of technology marketing and startup challenges, of professional growth. I am fortunate to have a good job to be returning to, with broadening responsibilities, at a company with colleagues and management that respected my time off but eagerly await my return. And I am eager to get back – to figure out what has changed in the past 3 months, what deals have closed, what initiatives have begun, and feel out the subtleties of culture that have changed over the summer.
I said that maternity leave is weird. It’s incredibly weird to be out of work for 3 months, then return and pick right up again. It’s like being at a water station in the middle of a race, taking a break, watching people run by, and then starting up again. The team will be at VMworld this week, and come back next week energized and excited from a shared experience, while I will still be figuring out how to do this.
miniDivo will go the same daycare babyDivo did/does, so that is all set. But I wish it were October 1 already. I wish I could skip the next few weeks of figuring out how we manage daycare drop off and pick up, nightly routines, pumping and bottles, while settling back in to work and just find the “new normal” already.
So Sunday Night Blues it is. Epic Sunday Night Blues.