This is my first full week back from maternity leave - last Friday was my first day back to work. This transition is being met by mixed emotions that I'm finding hard to clearly articulate. I've loved my time off with Lucan and would not turn down another 4 weeks off if you offered it to me. However, because of the way our leave is setup here at work, that wasn't an option unless I wanted to use all of my vacation by the end of August. I found that to be a dangerous option, leaving me no sick days - for me or baby. Hence, I am back to work.
Maternity leave flew by. I loved my moments of cuddling with Lucan and getting to know him and know exactly how he spent his day. I wouldn't have traded those weeks for anything - even the early weeks when I was overwhelmed. It's too bad that I had to go back at 8 weeks because we were finally finding a rhythm to life. I was able to feel like I was keeping up on house stuff and be a wife and mom.
Now we have to find a new rhythm. A rhythm that includes a flurry of feeding, diapering, lunch and coffee packing, and getting myself out the door all by 7 AM (it's a good thing Lance does drop-off, there is no way I'd ever make it to work by 7:30 AM). It's a rhythm that includes me trusting someone else to the care of my baby. It's a rhythm that forces me to accept that while Cindy, my daycare provider, might not do things exactly the same way as I do them, it will be okay. It's a rhythm that is forcing Lance and I to work as one flawless team. This is our new rhythm. And while I'm not really enjoying this rhythm right now, I'm adjusting to it. We all are.
Our new rhythm also means that I'm learning how to accept letting some ideals go. Dinnertime is going to be less spectacular. If I forget an ingredient at the store, I'm going to have to learn how to accept it and move on. There will be more crockpot food and casseroles that are shoved into the oven with little thought. With a baby who takes almost an hour to breastfeed and a husband whose new work schedule means he'll get home close to 6:15 pm every night, supper will be less interesting and served closer to 7 pm.
Furthermore, in addition to adjusting to working and having a baby, Lance is also starting classes again. Hard classes. Like calculus 2. Mind-boggling math. As a result, honey-do projects will linger longer than I prefer. I'll have to do most of the nighttime feedings and more house chores. My husband will be stressed out and probably sleep-deprived most of the time (I'm basing this on the previous experience of the spring semester). While this isn't a life I enjoy, it's a life that I will endure for our family's sake. Someday Lance would like to be able to have a job that fulfills him, so in the meantime, we'll all gird our loins and struggle through together. Would I like to stay-at-home with Lucan full-time? Perhaps. Is it a choice for us right now? No. Someday in the upcoming year, Lance will have to try and negoiate a change in his job schedule so he can take classes during the day. This may or may not be an option and Lance may have to find other means of employment. All in all, it comes down to tightening our belts, holding our collective breaths, and trusting in God to provide.
So here's to finding a new balance with our new rhythm!