Monday, July 16, 2012

Just not the same.


NJ is nine weeks today (corrected age) and nineteen weeks on Thursday (actual age). I had mixed emotions about going on maternity leave.  Let me back the train up a little.

In Canada we are fortunate to be entitled to one year maternity/parental leave. This hasn’t always been the case. A significant change to the parental leave portion of the leave was a legislated change in January of 2001 – an increase from 10 weeks leave to 35 weeks.  The remainder (or actually beginning of leave) is considered maternity leave and can only be taken by the birth mother. The parental leave portion is eligible for both parents as well as adoptive parents.

In any case, back to the mixed emotions.

I’ve been working in some capacity since I was eleven. I was nervous about taking an entire year off. I was nervous I’d go stir crazy being at home alone with an infant 24/7. I was worried I’d never see real-life-adults besides my husband.  Nervous the isolation would make me bat-shit crazy. I don’t have a huge circle of girlfriends here. Most are individual friends who are all at different stations in life. And everyone is busy with their own lives, so I appreciate coordinating schedules is challenging at the best of times.

I actually love working. I love the social aspect of it. I love planning. I love design. I love a schedule. I love a challenge. Damnit, I’m good at what I do. And what was I to do with myself at home?!  Thrown to the wolves (wolf?) in a thankless, constantly-being-judged, exhausting, doesn’t-come-with-a-job-description (or manual!) position, nonetheless. Like most first-time moms, despite my experience with babies and kiddos…I wasn’t sure what to expect. All I knew for certain was I was thrilled to finally be out of the hospital after a 56 day stay.

The transition has been an eye opening one. Once you get past the first few weeks where you’re afraid to leave the room to pee, you eventually get into a groove.  I realized I could finally relax and enjoy the long overdue change of pace.  But the isolation is very real. There were times (and still are) where I feel like I may lose my mind if I don’t see someone else’s face other than NJ or my husband. I remember breaking down one Friday night in a fit of tears exclaiming to my husband “I don’t have any friends!!!” He sighed, said I was being ridiculous “You have plenty of friends” started rhyming them off and proceeded to tell me I needed to get out of the house.  Okay. So he was right. Mostly.  Just this once.

While I DO actually have very wonderful friends, I desperately miss being near our families. I miss having that support system. The thought of raising NJ away from all the comforts and experiences I had – of having regular sleepovers at my Aunt and Uncle’s places, of make-believe with cousins, and fresh baked cinnamon rolls at my Granny’s.  Sure, he’ll get to see his aunts and uncles and cousins. And I know his Grandma and Grandpa will be here lots to visit. And we’ll get home to visit his Nan and Pop. But it’s just not the same. And that makes my heart ache. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh, there will be sleepovers. Many. With stay up late movies. And cookies. I have them planned already. You just have to say when.

    Chin up, pretty girl. He'll know his family very well. It's a different world. Technology is simple and immediate and cheap when immediacy isn't available.
    xo

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