And almost as soon as it began, it was over.
Today was my last official day of maternity leave. I’m not in work tomorrow as Thursday is one of my days off but I am back to the day job on Friday. The past 10 months have gone so quickly but it feels like G has always been here. Already those early newborn days seem a distant memory.
We did have plans to go to the Trafford centre today, a potter around the shops, a bit of lunch but my baby boy has had a bit of a cold so we opted for a day at home instead. A day with him lay in my arms, dozing, his face snuggled into my chest. A day of me listening to his gentle breathing and watching his hand twitch in his sleep as it rests near my shoulder.
The kind of days that won’t always be, where nothing has been done, I’ve just about managed to grab myself a coffee, but other than that that, nothing. Is it a day wasted? Should I be working my way through my to-do list? Perhaps I should, but they can wait. Because G won’t always be this small, he won’t always need me to comfort him when he’s feeling under the weather, and I won’t always have the opportunity to sit here with him.
Maternity leave is a bubble, you’re not quite in the real world and it sometimes feels everyday life goes on with you barely even noticing. Befor G came along I dreamt of a second period of maternity, I felt robbed of the chance to have that slower pace of life again where life revolves around feeds and naps. I worried I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as I had with O, that maybe I was remembering it with rose-tinted glasses.
I needn’t have worried, I have loved it, almost every minute. I’ve loved not thinking about marking books, targets and spreadsheets. I’ve enjoyed the chaos that comes from becoming a family of four and being able to focus entirely on my family of boys.
Our wonderful boy has brought us so much happiness I can’t even really put it into words. He has made me the mum, the woman, I always wanted to be. I no longer have to fear pregnancy announcements, knowing the hurt they would cause me and I will never miss having to smile and say congratulations whilst my heart broke and yearned for that second baby of my own.
I return to work on Friday a very different person from the one who left at the beginning of May and it marks another new start for us as a family. There are new routines to find and the weekends will become even more precious.
Tomorrow will be the most precious of days. My final one before I have to think about work again and it will be spent with my two little boys who make me so proud and always put a smile on my face. Maternity leave may be over but there are so many good times ahead. Bring it on!