This week, I came across this status update I posted on Facebook when I was returning to work after maternity leave. You can never be prepared for this, no matter how much you get warned beforehand.
One of the things I do enjoy on Facebook is the “on this day” feature. It is such a wonderful and sometimes even funny thing to look back at on. I either laugh at some of the things I posted and sometimes smile, looking at how far I’ve come and how much I have grown, sadly in size too!
When I think of how much of maternity leave is available in other countries, I am sad that we are not so fortunate in South Africa. The time I was just getting used to being a mommy just happens to be the time I had to return to work. It was around this time that my child began going through all the major development milestones. I would have preferred to be around to see those moments.
It’s not easy when you have a child for the very first time and there is so much to learn and even more to do. It all becomes extremely overwhelming. You also need to use the available time to heal from birth as well as to take care of the little one. And you’ve got to be ready 24/7 to breastfeed – if you decide to go that route. I can still recall how tired that used to make me feel, but I loved it. I also enjoyed the fact that it made me lose 10kg’s since giving birth – within 10 days.
These are photos of Kayden a few days before I returned to work from maternity leave:
I will never forget the day I had to return to work. It is said it gets easier with time, but somehow it doesn’t feel that way for me. There’s such a huge difference when you spend 4 months of your life with your child all day and every day, compared to going back to work and only having a limited time in the morning and evenings.
I know that there are many of you moms who have felt this pain, but like me, you’ve also had to go back to work. Here’s my thoughts on the day I returned to work…which I updated as my Facebook status on the day…
I still remember 4 months ago,
How I teared when I held you in my arms for the very 1st time,
When you came into this world,
And I became a mother.
I was and still am in awe of you my son.
I knew I was in love with you before you were even born…
But I underestimated the depth of love I’d feel for you.
It’s been a magical journey,
With each day that passes by,
You bring pure delight.
My son, when I look at you looking into my eyes,
I don’t have words that can explain the love in my heart.
When I look at you…I can hardly believe that your dad and I made such a precious being.
I love how you wake up full of smiles, you’re such a happy chappy…even as you fall asleep.
I love holding you in my arms and close to my heart & never wanna let go.
I also love watching you fall asleep in daddy”s arms,
When I see how he holds you, plays with you, cares for you…I love you both even more…you’re the most precious gift we will ever have and that will never change,
As you turn 4 months today, my heart is heavy as I have to go back to work.
I’ve spent the past 4 months with you every single day.
You didn’t come with instructions, so the first month or so wasn’t very easy…
Some mistakes were made along the way but what a fighter you’ve been!
You’re such a blessing…so easy to care for in your set routine.
I’m not sure how 4 months just flew by but you never had me bored.
I could still spend hours just looking at you,
I’ll never get tired of doing this cos looking at you brings so much more joy into my life.
How I’ll miss you my son, i’ll be thinking of you all day, waiting to get back home, just to look at you, just to kiss and cuddle you and carry you until you fall asleep in my arms..and I won’t wanna let go.
Mwaaah…mummy loves you!
Even though Kayden is now 16 months old, I can’t say that it gets easier. When he hears my car enter our driveway, before I even get out of my car, I hear him calling me, ‘mum!” and then when I see him, that smile lights me up each and every single day.
Here’s my Little Man at just over 16 months…how time flies!
I can’t imagine that it must be easy for dads either – the world is so concerned with women getting maternity leave, that it is assumed men don’t need to bond with their children. I disagree with this, I believe in equal parenting and not in discrimination, of any sort. Fortunately so does my husband, if you missed his post on Equal Parenting, check it out here, In my opinion, I think men should get much more paternity leave than a just a mere few days.
What was your experience like when you returned to work from maternity leave? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below…