When Riley was born, I decided to take only 8 weeks of maternity leave. I know, what was I thinking? I felt obligated to get back to my job, and I figured that after two months, I’d be ready to get out of the house and back to bringing home the bacon. The day I had to leave him to go to work was so incredibly hard. Tears rolled down my cheeks before I had even made it to the car. Can you blame me? This is who I was leaving:
And it was really hard (understatement, fo sho).
When I had Riley, I figured 8 weeks was a super duper long time. I’d have plenty of time to bond with my boy while Daddy was at work and it was just the two of us all day every day. And it was great. When I say great, I mean it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But I just loved looking at his little face. I loved the three hour long naps. I loved the walks around the neighborhood. I loved the car seat perched on top of the cart while I grocery shopped and he snoozed. It was perfect.
So then I returned to work and there was a new normal. For over a year, all three of us grew accustomed to our new normal. Again, it was perfect. I used to ask Derek, “How are we so lucky? Aren’t you waiting for something bad to happen?” He would scoff and tell me to stop being so pessimistic. Nothing bad was going to happen.
And then it did. I was laid off from my job. That was 8 weeks ago.
So now here we are. I’m currently on my second maternity leave with my first kid. He is 20 months old and I think this maternity leave is waaaay more fun than the last. Yes, he doesn’t like to cuddle as much as he did the first time around, but this kid is hilarious. He fake cries. He pretends to fall down by flinging himself on the floor saying a solemn, “oh no!” We go to the park every day. We play with blocks and we read book after book after book. I’m so grateful for this time to bond with him again. I love this little kid more than words written on some blog can describe.
And why wouldn’t I? Look at what I get to hang with every day: