As my last week of maternity leave begins, my heart feels heavier and heavier in my chest. I can’t fall asleep at night for fear that I haven’t fully appreciated this time with my sweet baby girl. I know plenty of moms who find joy in returning to their old routines. Mamas who feel peace in knowing they can unlock a part of themselves they haven’t used in 12 weeks.
As for me, I’m filled with an anxiety I’ve never felt before. I’ve waited my whole life to be someone’s mama. I’m doing it for the first time, and while it’s messy, hard, and some days quite tearful, it is still one of the most beautiful parts of my existence.
What if she cries and needs me?
What if I miss a beautiful moment in her life?
Even just one smile of hers feels impossible to miss. She is my sunshine every single day.
How can I spend eight hours away from that perfect little face?
As each day passes, I’m filled with dread. I fear my sweet little girl will miss me, and I won’t be there to give her the comfort she desperately seeks. I fear she will stop relying on me entirely. As a mother, there is something so beautiful about your sweet baby needing you and searching for you to find comfort. What if my absence causes us to lose that? So many fears dance around in my head, day and night.
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I’ve spent so many nights exhausted, yet wide awake, staring at her beautiful face and trying to memorize every detail before I spend so much time away from her. I strategize different pumping plans so my daughter can find comfort and nourishment through my milk while I’m away. Then I cry, thinking of the nursing sessions we will lose. Those moments feeding my baby are some of the sweetest, and they have strengthened our bond so much.
Will she find the same comfort in taking my milk from the bottle?
Will my baby need to comfort nurse but not have me there to do so?
These thoughts haunt me as I prepare to step back into work, a different woman than I was before I became a mama.
Ultimately, I have to have faith that my God will get us both through this. The time we do have together can be special. I am honoring my little family by working hard to help provide. My daughter will grow up knowing that both of her parents love her so deeply, even during our moments apart.
As I scroll through social media, I see so many moms express the same fears. I see moms cling to their children in photos, desperately seeking a way to provide while staying home with their babies.
If you are that mama, I see you. I hear you. I am you.
If you’re dreading going back to work, you are not alone.
If you wish you could just stay home and love on your littles all day, you are not alone.
I hope you know that our wonderful creator also sees you, hears you, and loves you deeply. He gave you those babies to love. He trusted you with them, and He will get you through this season of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty.
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I pray for peace over you. I pray that you find an opportunity that allows you more time with your beautiful babies. I pray that you trust in the One who holds us and leads us through every single day.
Soak up these last days with all the cuddles and kisses. Laundry can wait. Dishes can wait. Facebook can wait. Everything can wait.
There’s nothing more important than time with your family. They’re only this little for a short time. Take every moment, enjoy it, and make it last.