Monday, October 14, 2013


I am going back to work tomorrow after an unbelievable 14 weeks of maternity leave.  As I rocked Remy to sleep last night, she reached her little hand up to mine and grabbed my thumb. I totally lost it. Tears rained down my cheeks in a confused display of both sadness & happiness.  This is not because I don't love my job ... it's because I DO love being a mom.  
Our little snuggle baby
If someone offered me another 14 weeks in exchange for starting all over again -  sleepless nights spent watching a monitor, hazy days spent glued to a couch while feeding, changes in the way my clothes fit, showers that end before shampoo is rinsed out of my hair, cold late-night dinners eaten with one hand - YES. My answer would be YES. In a heartbeat.  Here are 3 reasons why: 
  • I am a great mom.  In a blog written before Remy's arrival, I questioned whether I would be a good mother. I've since found myself apologizing to Remy because she's a bit of a guinea pig. Sometimes her head gets stuck when I take her shirt off or she gets soap in her eyes while she's taking a bath.   She often naps in her carseat so I can run errands.  I missed seeing the first time she rolled-over without my help. I've walked around with spit-up on my shoulder for God knows how long until I finally noticed.  I don't have her on a perfect "schedule." There are days when I forget to read her a book.   BUT, I am a great mom and I am reminded of this every single time she smiles and laughs at me.  I'm far, far from perfect - but Remy knows exactly how much I love her. And I believe that's really all that matters. 
Remy's first time swimming (she loved it)! 
  • Remy is a great daughter. A few weeks ago, my mom held Remy up to a mirror, looked at her and repeatedly asked her to "say boo!" Remy eventually formed her lips in a puckered "boo" shape and very slowly let the noise escape - as if she was trying to blow a bubble! She did it over and over and over again, just having so much fun imitating the word.  Today when we ask Remy to "say boo" she says it with a very loud assurance - "BOO!"  So, she's officially ready for Halloween :)   She has also found her hands and loves to put them in her mouth. If Jonny looks at her and pretends to suck on his thumb, she'll mimic him and do the same.  She gives us big smiles when we fan a blanket up and down in front her her face while saying "peek-a-boo!" And she loves to drop toys off the little tray on her booster seat because she knows we'll pick them up for her. We're enamored with her every move and completely wrapped around her finger. 

  • I now understand "time flies."    Many people advised me to enjoy my time off because babies grow so fast. They were right.  It seems like yesterday I was holding a 7lb sweet pea who could curl up on the inside of my elbow. Today I'm juggling our pork chop between my arms every few minutes because she's grown so sweetly chubby.  My greatest hope upon returning to work is that I will relish those few precious hours before bedtime on weekdays. The dishes can wait.  Life is so busy and if I don't take the time to stop, I'll miss the opportunity to absorb moments (big & small) of Remy's brave new world.   

Remy's first trip to Chicago ("bean baby")

I keep telling myself that if I wasn't a little bit sad about returning to work, that might mean that I didn't enjoy the past 14 weeks. Despite how quickly the time passed, I am so fortunate and thankful for the time we had together. Remy was born in July and we've had the most beautiful summer/fall. We went for a walk together almost everyday and occasionally, we'd walk to a nearby restaurant for an afternoon "ladies who lunch" date. I loved those quiet afternoons and having people stop at our table to oooh-and-ahhh over how much she looks like a little Cabbage Patch doll.  After lunch we'd go home and I would tell her that we were just going to snuggle the rest of the day. Despite my best intentions, the truth is that Remy eventually became bored of the snuggles. She'd refuse to look at me or she'd huff and puff with total distaste for however I was trying to entertain her at the moment.  When this happened, I would lay her down on her jungle playmat or at the little piano she can play with her tootsie-toes and she'd entertain herself for a super long time.  I used to feel bad about this --- how could my daughter not want to play with me? Doesn't she love me? Are her teen years kicking in already? No, you dork. She just needs some space. And sometimes, so does mama.  
I plan on going back to work with a renewed sense of confidence. Wisdom. Independence. Balance. With a greater appreciation for ALL women who play the life changing role of a mother. Because whether we work inside or outside the home, we're all working. And each of us would gladly work our asses off climbing to the top of the coldest, highest, most rugged mountain if it meant we could make our kids happy.   That's all I could ever ask for our little Remy girl: happiness. From the looks of things, we're off to a pretty good start.