Oh what a crazy past few months – summer generally is busy, add in a few weddings, some birthday’s, and get togethers; it equates to not enough hours in a day. And with all of the madness going on, we’ve been trying to organize our own life. I go back to work in less than a month. I’m in denial. There’s one line in Beyoncé’s Run the World song that always resonates with me, “Strong enough to bear the children then get back to business.” In theory, yes, this is true. But I’m lost. I have been raising a little human for the past 10 months. In the next month I’m obligated to return to work and trust a complete stranger to care for my child. What?
I’ll just state the obvious by saying that this year flew by. And as if the year wasn’t short enough, I do feel slightly robbed of the first 3 months of my maternity leave. Despite my best efforts of keeping positive, I sometimes feel like I could’ve done better during that recovery time. Better in the sense that I shouldn’t have been so hard on myself and just tried to enjoy every single moment. I remember feeling like a failure at times because I wasn’t able to do more than half the things I wanted to. But as I reflect back, I think we did what needed to do as a family and moved forward. I considered extending my maternity leave to make up for some lost time, but, for us, I don’t feel that would be the best option. As much as I have loved becoming a parent and raising a child, I miss my time. I haven’t glorified parenthood and I try not to because parenting is not a walk in the park. There were days (sometimes weeks) where I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore. And it was nothing against Amia. I just missed me. I still miss me. I miss my hot morning coffee, my hot shower, and my fun wardrobe (there’s only so many repeat home clothes you can wear before you realize you should probably do laundry). And as much as it’ll be healthy to return back to work, I’m going to miss my little warrior. Amia has been nothing but the best and watching her grow and blossom into a beautiful soul has been so rewarding; her softness and graceful acts of kindness have made me so proud to be her Ma.
Sometimes I wonder if I did enough during the past year. I took advantage of as many mom and baby activities happening across the city to keep us busy. I did anything and everything, from keeping myself active to keeping Amia stimulated. We also met a lot of other amazing Ma’s and their little ones. Whether it was at a playgroup or salsa dancing, Amia and I made new and fun friends everywhere we went. Sometimes if we had no place to go, I would pack Amia up and just drive. Lots of driving happened. We discovered many little towns and local shops. And if driving wasn’t in our best interest, I would just pack her up in the stroller and go for a nice long stroll. Something I wouldn’t do as often before baby. I saw more of my neighbourhood and realized how nice it is filled with many parks and trails. Our days were mini adventures. Together, we explored and discovered. And the days we were home (because we needed rest days too!), we would play, laugh, and my favourite part, cuddle – lots and lots of cuddles. Those damn cuddles get me – instant heart melt.
I’m really going to miss it all. I’m not sure how I’m expected to rise in my career, take a pause to start a family, and then resume establishing my career while still learning how to raise a child. This transition is going to be very interesting. Let’s be real, it’s going to be ridiculously hard. I also never thought we would find daycare for Amia. Not because of capacity issues at these centres, but because of me. We visited about 6 to 10 different spots, both home and centres. After our last visit, Matt caught on – he told me that no matter how many places we visited, none of them would ever be good enough. It’s true.
Matt and I finally agreed on a place. It’s nice and bonus it’s new. But I’m still trying to process the thought of someone else tending to my child. I know the educators are trained professionals. I need to learn to trust them. But the thoughts always cross my mind (yes the crazy Ma in me comes out): What if Amia is too cold? Too warm? How will she let them know? What if she’s really whiney? What if she’s still hungry after snack time? What if Amia just wants cuddles from Ma? The “what-ifs” are eating at me all the time. But then I try and remember the positives: that this is good for her and her development. Amia will make new friends, interact with new adults, and learn and play in a new environment. Her days will still be filled with adventures, just with different people. So, as much as I’m dreading the first day of daycare, I’m holding my head up and convincing myself that this is all good.
And with that, the next month will be spent making lots of memories; Amia and I plan on making the most of it. Normally I try and leave on a positive note, but this time, this Ma could use all the words of encouragement and positive vibes to make this transition as easy as possible (if that’s possible) – in the meantime, I’ll just keep jamming to Beyoncé tunes to stay empowered and remind me that I got this, we got this.