There is a blog post going viral at the moment. “The truth about maternity leave” has once again reminded me of the one thing I have never forgotten. YES, I KNOW IT GOES FAST.
For me, (as I have mentioned many times!) maternity leave is already over. Daily reminders of the things I wanted to do, or more importantly, the time I wanted to spend, are nothing more than salt in the wound.
On one of my expressing breaks last week, I received a picture from one of the NCT girls, a picture of 4 of the beautiful NCT babies enjoying a baby sensory class. My daughter’s Baby Sensory class runs on my day off, so this fun has luckily not been stopped by work, but I was still left with a deep feeling of regret, of time lost, and of missing out. My daughter is at home with her Daddy, enjoying an opportunity that most of her friends are not lucky enough to get, but I still feel like she is missing out. Missing out on the social time with other babies and missing out on time with me.
I feel deeply selfish, in a similar way to the dog in the manger, but the truth is, I’d like everyone to wait for me. I’d like the world to stop while I am at work. I’d like my daughter to stop learning, stop growing. I’d like my friends to stop having fun. I’d like lunches to stop and coffees to wait.
I’m selfish I know, but I hate the feeling of missing out. This is all mixed up with my intense sense of regret associated with my daughter’s birth and the early days of her life. I have talked before about our early issues with tongue tie which made me scared of my daughter at the start of her life, and issues surrounding the birth is an area I still need some support with. These early hurdles are not the worst people over come, they are not, by any standard, serious issues, but for me they hold so much regret. As a result of these things my daughter and I did not share much skin to skin in the early days. Skin to skin between mother and baby has many benefits, including its ability to help regulate hormones. F and I share skin to skin on occasion now, and I love it. It fills me with the kind of love that overwhelms me. Yes it makes me cry, it makes me remember the time I missed, the time I will never recover, but it also reminds me that all is not lost. I have a beautiful baby girl. Now, at six months, she has to be in the right mood for skin to skin. She values it, but only when she doesn’t want to play, or ‘talk’ or laugh. But, in a beautiful regression, now I am back at work she values it more. Our time together has become more special and skin to skin is helping us both adjust to the changes we face.
Anyway – I digress again. Life doesn’t stand still, life won’t wait for me to not be working. F won’t stop learning, she won’t wait for me to be at home to speak her first word or to stand for the first time. I can’t expect others to wait for me, to stop having fun until I clock off from work. I must instead learn to make the most of the time I do have. To value it, to not sit at home watching TV while F plays on the floor, but to get down there and play with her, to get out and experience life. Watch her grow, hold her tight and not blink, not miss a second. There is no waiting, the world won’t stop for me to join it, I have to run and jump, and join the ride when it’s already in full flow.
Here I go! Wish me luck.
Read the blog post I refer to here, (this is not my blog)