So, I am back at work now....and lamenting that summer has gone by so quickly. I have laid awake at night, thinking of all the things I wanted to document in this post...how much we have changed as a family these past 2 months, how much fun we have had, and how less stressed we have been.
And honestly, it makes me so sad to think it is all over now that I have just not wanted to even try and blog about it. But I am coming to realize that it is not over, and that I can control the way the rest of our days go (to a degree), and that I only work part time (thankfully), so I really do have the best of both worlds......(as I sit here, without Emma, desperately trying to convince myself that is the truth)
I was beyond excited when it became official that I would be off for June and July. Even though I only work 3 days a week, juggling it all can be very stressful. Besides maternity leave, I had never had an extended period of time with Emma all to myself. So naturally, the thought made me cringe a bit at first. Fears and doubts on whether I could handle it filled my mind....
Could I survive 24/7 with no breaks?
Would I find enough fun things for us to do during the day?
Would I have enough patience?
Would Emma know how much I adore her and this time together, or will she only remember how frustrated I can get at times?
I know all those thoughts are natural, and so I try not to dwell on them or be too hard on myself. Now that the 2 months are over, I can look back and see how much we have grown.
For starters, Emma and I are much closer. She's still a daddy's girl at heart and when Brent is home, she really clings to him. But I can tell she loves to do stuff with me, and that was her routine for 2 months. Every morning, I would get her up and hug her and we would go downstairs for some "chocolate milkie" and Curious George. I would drink my coffee, catch up on my emails and blogs, and sit snuggled next to her. It was our time, and I loved it.
After a show or two, I would head up and get us clothes for the day and we would get dressed for whatever was planned. Most of the time it was an errand, but I always made it fun. Sometimes I bribed with a smoothie or her new favorite - Auntie Anne's cinnamon sugar pretzel bites - and we always, always took an entourage with us. Usually it was Bitty Baby, her carseat, and her toys. Binkie goes everywhere too...
I would try and make or buy us some sort of healthy lunch, and try and encourage Emma to have rest time on the couch. I tried her room, but she didn't stay in there well...and I learned early on that she may fall asleep watching TV, so we stuck with that routine. Sadly, she hasn't fallen asleep watching TV in the past month or so...but at least she's resting and settled. Thanks to Netflix, we have an influx of kid show selections - currently loving Winne the Pooh, Poppy Cat, Curious George, Driftwood Bay, and Franny's Feet.
I would start to make dinner around 5:15pm, and Emma would always help. We also ventured outside to see if the neighbors were home yet, or to wait for daddy. Some days, this time would be the most challenging...I would anxiously await Brent's return for some kind of help because by 6:45, you are just worn out. And of course, I kept telling myself to savor it, even if it was frustrating, because there would come a day when I would miss it like crazy (like today).
I probably should have had more structure in our days (and I quickly realized that when Emma went to camp for a week and I had to drag her out of bed every day). I didn't worry about bedtimes, or staying out late. We didn't have to go anywhere the next day so it didn't matter. And I rarely knew what day it was...
The "stress less" me was fabulous. It felt good - on me, and for everyone. I could tell that Emma behaved better when I was more patient, more kind. I enjoyed my only job being to take care of our family. I think Brent enjoyed having me home to take care of things, and I was much more willing to do spur of the moment plans. We did more this summer than any other time in our lives. It was nothing for us to casually pack up last minute and go somewhere. I loved it:)
So now that I am not 100% at home, I have to find balance again. I have to maintain that sense of freedom and force myself to slow down, take in every moment, and let other things go.
For the first time in 3 years, I really see that Emma has changed in the blink of an eye. She's 3.....THREE! Next year, she will be 4 and it will be our last year together before school. I die inside thinking of that. I ache knowing that she will spend more time at school with strangers and people who aren't me than at home. The thought literally makes me want to quit my job right now, race home and spend every freaking minute with her. I honestly thought that by this time, I would be happy to return to work.....and that feeling may come in a few
So if you see me sobbing in my office, or I skip lunch to leave early so I can get Emma, just say a little prayer for me and assure me it will be okay.
Farewell Summer of 2015, and here's to our best fall yet:)