My favorite thing in the early days was feeling like somehow I already knew her. Maybe that's just what happens when you bring someone who's half you into the world. She was born and entirely new, and somehow instantly familiar, like she'd been with me all along.
Staying home with her has been both rewarding and challenging. By the time I was feeling strong again and was home alone, I began to feel like I wasn't doing enough during the day. As we know, I tend to have a few too many pots on the stove at once, so having just one task in front of me was new. So there I was, stalking my work twitter feed in between feedings and going through work emails. Although the job in front of me is arguably the most important there is, the feeling that I wasn't contributing to society was hard to handle. T would remind me that my contribution at home those first weeks was even bigger, but working solo for my person instead of the people are two very different things. The timing of my maternity leave was sort of a professional nightmare due to the timing of a large project milestone at work, and until we reached our goal I wasn't able to let go very well. I couldn't stay away, didn't want to. The last two years of my professional life led to a single night in December, and I had to be part of it. Baby H was part of the festivities too, of course. She's our project's Infant Ambassador - lots of important duties with that title!
Once my project's year-end milestone passed, I was able to relax and let go of work a little more. I decorated for Christmas without many email checks, and went home for the holidays without "work brain" for the first time in ages. H met her crazy crew of cousins - she is number five - and we all spoiled each other. Good stuff, all of it.
Now here we are, in a new year. Our dear friends and their two-year-old traveled here to usher it in with us. I go back to work in two weeks… time is flying. I want H to grow up knowing that her mom is doing work that fulfills her and that she thinks is important - not going back to work wasn't a consideration for me. I think the best example I can make for her is to do work that means something to me. We're all happier when I feel like I'm contributing toward something bigger than myself.
The hippo is starting to come out beside me, so there's time for just two more photos. Here's H's birth announcement:
I adore her serious, thoughtful eyes in this photo (we had a mother-daughter photo shoot one afternoon on the sheepskin rug). But because she's already changed so much since that photo - and learned to smile since then! - let's end with a happy little lady in her purple leisure suit:
Wow she is cute.