What I hoped my last month of maternity leave with Max would look like, and what it looks like in reality are two very different things. While I would love to spend my last weeks at home with Max attending drop in centers and play dates, and having lunch dates with friends, in reality this month is really a preparation month for our family.
I am already at work two days a week. Since September I have been completing an education placement at my work for the degree I am working on. This has been really good for our family. Max has been slowly getting used to me not being with him 24/7, and he has been able to spend some quality time with daddy, without me being there too. It has also given my husband perspective on what it is like staying at home with a babe all day. He has been able to learn that it is not always sunshine and rainbows. What it is like when your little one decides to only nap for a half hour in the morning, and forgo their afternoon nap, and how it feels to be constantly "on," supervising every move your toddling baby makes. It has been good for me too. I think it would have been way to difficult for me to return to work full time after being at home seven days a week with Max. I would seriously go through withdrawal. I have learned over the past four months that he is okay when I am not there, and while others do things differently then I do, at the end of the day Max is loved, safe, fed and well cared for. That's all that matters :) Oh, and I have also used my lunch hours to whip around doing all of the errands that are easier to complete sans baby. That aspect has been wonderful!
Two other days of the week for the month of January, Max transitions to daycare. He has spent one full morning there so far, and he did great. Our provider told me he fit in well with the group of littles she already has attending, and there were only a few tears after I left, but he quickly stopped. He had fries for lunch that day, so he probably wishes he could live at daycare now, because I have never given him fries ;) I will admit, I did have the thought go through my mind of fitting a GoPro camera around his little head so I would not miss anything adorable that he does or says. But I thought it might come across a little weird and somewhat inappropriate so I let that thought pass :)
Whatever days are left are filled with tying loose ends before I head back to work full-time. Today we purchased a mutual fund for Max. Our government will contribute a percentage for the purpose of your child's eduction into an RESP, so we jumped on that opportunity. Its scary to think how much post secondary education will cost when Max gets to that time in his life. I also mailed off Max's birthday thank yous. After birthday invites, Christmas cards and birthday thank yous, I am looking forward to a hiatus in having to address envelopes. I am also looking in buying a return stamp to make my life easier. I should have done this ages ago.
I'm itching to get Max outside in the snow. My mom and dad bought him the cutest red sled for Christmas and we have yet to get him out in it. Today would have been the perfect day. The sun was shining, there was little wind, and it was not as freeze-your-butt-off-cold as it has been the last few days. But alas, Max has a nasty cough and a nose that is currently quite red from being wiped on average every five minutes. Today my husband and I went back and forth countless times about whose turn it was to wipe his nose, since we think that he hates us when we do it. He throws his head back and wails each time. Most times we settled on doing it together so he at least hates us evenly .. it was only fair ;)
Now that Max is one, I often find myself reminiscing on our first days home with him, as it was this time last year when we were brand new first-time parents. We handled diaper changes as a team and constantly worried about every odd noise he made while sleeping. It is crazy how last Wednesday I took Max to daycare for the first time, handing him over to someone I do not really know all that well yet, while that same day last year we brought him home from the hospital and we never took our eyes off him. It is bizarre how twelve short months later your life can change so much and look so different. At the same time though, it is exciting. My husband and I are very lucky to be where we are at in our lives, having the ability to have a family.
I will miss maternity leave so so so so much. It has been such a special time for me that I will never forget. I have made the most of my year off with Max. When I registered for an instagram account the start of last year, I had written that I was going to document what I thought would be the best year of my life. Well I can now confirm, it has been the best year of my life. I love you Max :)
My instagram username is kimmieflo :)
~ K aka mama