Be Balanced: It’s Always Something
Most of my maternity leave passed in what felt like real time – sleep deprived, milk-covered, wonderful real time. But the last month or so flew. Each time I entered my leave into Beebe’s payroll system, I was reminded of exactly how much precious time I had left. There was a big part of me that was excited to return to work, and just as big a part that wanted to pause time and hold my beautiful baby girl forever.
This feeling of time racing by was amplified by the fact that we traveled to northern Delaware every weekend during the last month of my leave. Some of those trips were planned in advance, some were relatively spontaneous, and some were not up to us, but there’s no doubt they’ve made life feel busier than usual. There are also a number of things going on in our family lives that have added to the busyness.
Ahead of my return to work, and during these first tender weeks back, I have been craving peace and quiet, time to relax and snuggle with my baby. For the first time in my adult life, I can look at that pile of laundry and say, “It can wait.” I want to come home from work and do nothing besides park myself on the couch and hold Maddie. I want as few visitors and obligations as possible.
Life has had other plans, but it hasn’t been all bad. We’ve become extremely comfortable road-tripping with a baby – a personal goal for both Dave and I. And this frequent travel has actually made me feel more like myself; I have never been a homebody, so to leave the house only a few times a week was a big adjustment for me when I was on leave. It has also been a blessing to see our parents and my grandmother interact with Maddie. As much as I love snuggling with her, I also enjoy watching other people hold her, because I get an entirely different perspective on her little face and personality. It really is fun to watch!
Although I’m looking forward to a quiet July, part of me thinks this busy feeling may be my new normal. It’s not just the travel. We have visitors way more frequently than we ever did before Maddie was born, and it seems like every week, someone is sending us another gift. Please don’t get me wrong – I am incredibly grateful that Maddie has so many people who love her and want to spend time with her. It’s just that amidst all that goes into caring for a new baby and navigating the steep learning curve that is returning to work, to me, balance feels like doing a whole lot of nothing.
My dad is fond of saying, “It’s always something,” and these days, that feels truer than ever.