Mat Leave Musings

I’ve had so many blog titles bopping around my brain for the past few weeks and no time to do anything about them. So on this fortunate night when my 8-month old daughter took all of TWO minutes BY HERSELF to pass out in her crib, I think this post will be an amalgamation of the various working titles I’ve had flying around my head lately. Here they are:

“Am I Addicted To My Daughter? (Is that a thing? If it is, I’m pretty sure I am)”

“Are These My Tits Or Did Someone Replace Them With Pancake Batter?”

“What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up?” a.k.a. “Fuck: Mat Leave Is Almost Over”

and lastly “OMG I Wanna Cry, She’s Almost A Year Old”

Let’s start with that last one. Prior to becoming a mother, I used to Hate when women said ‘Oh, little so and so is just growing up so fast. Oh little so and so, please stop growing. Sob.’ It drove me nuts because I was like, well why on earth did you have children then?! The alternative to not growing up and getting older is Death. Are you wishing death upon your children?? So let me be clear, I still think that statement is stupid, and I will not wish ever that Sadie stops growing. However- I do get the sentiment. Now that I’m a mother myself, I really, really do.

As of this Friday, Sadie has become her own person, independent of my womb for 8 months now. I have had eight months of watching her grow out of her newborn clothes and into all sorts of mischief and wobbly-legged attempts at bipedalism. Since she’s become more ambulatory, she now wiggles out of my desperate grasp more often than not, and 100% of the time that I have her on the diaper change table.

I chose to make a baby in the hopes that it would become its own independent person, and that experiment is all coming along quite nicely. But I’m realizing now that there are Way more months on the side of the maternity clock that has already passed by, and that our side only has four more months left on it. With the strides she’s making now, I know that those remaining four months will feel more like four hours. I have an acute feeling now that Every Moment with her matters, and that these days of just the two of us spending every minute of it together are numbered.

Hence why I lied to my friends the other weekend, and then spent the following week questioning if I was addicted to my child. If you’re one of the friends I lied to and you’re reading this- I apologize in advance.

There was a Christmas party. One of my babeliest friends was hosting it and it was going to be a blast. Three other amazingly hilarious, energetic, fun-times friends that I love were going to be there too. Only problem was- it was on a Sunday night, from 6-10 pm, and Ryan was away on business. We’re very limited for babysitters, so I didn’t think I could make it. But at 4 pm on Sunday, my friend got back to me and said ‘Sure, bring Sadie by. We can take her no problem.’

By that point, Sades and I were just leaving Superstore in Airdrie and I had already envisioned a romantic night ahead of us snuggling together on the couch, eating popcorn and watching House. So I lied.

I said that I couldn’t find a sitter and told the girls to have a great time and to send me pictures of what I missed. When I took Sadie out of the car seat after our drive home, I removed her little woolly pink winter hat, pulled her into a giant squeeze on the staircase and just inhaled her little baby scent. I drank all of her in and I thought “Yes! This is worth staying home for!”

In the coming days, I began to wonder if these events meant that I had an unhealthy fixation with my child. So I ran this story by a few of my Mom friends (one of whom was at the party and I had lied to), and the consensus (at least from those friends) was No. One said “They’re your child forever, but only your baby for a little while.” And the friend I had lied to said “I actually think it’s so beautiful that you lied to us so that you could spend more time with your child.” So I took their words for it, but if you want to tell me there’s something wrong with me, I’m all ears!

The last two working titles, floppy tits and returning to work, I’ll have to leave for another time, as 11:00 pm now feels like 3:00 am and I can barely keep my eyes open.

XO, Em

Today I Did Nothing

Today, I did Nothing.

I did not sell a car, or win a case in court, or meet any deadline, or close a big deal, or offer someone a service.

I did not go to work.

In fact, aside from a dog walk and some light gardening, I barely left my house.

If I had to guess, I would estimate that I watched about 8 full hours of Law and Order today.

I want to feel guilty about all of that- I really do. I Hate TV-watching, especially during the daytime, and Especially on a nice summer day. My dog walk was short, and I made really garbage food choices. I could have gone on a run. I could have eaten the kale salad in my fridge instead of Kraft Dinner and handfuls of chocolate chips from the bag. I could have been more social. I could have been more productive.

But aside from the brief dog walk we went on, I had my baby girl in my arms or on my lap All Day Long.

I told myself when we went back to bed together after her morning bottle at 6:30 this morning that we wouldn’t sleep in.

I told myself when we woke up at 9:00 am that I would only watch one episode of Law and Order with her in my arms while she took her 10:00 am bottle.

But as we were still snuggled into each other on the couch, and on our second episode of Law and Order, I was texting with a fellow Mom about the absolute freedom of mat leave. She was saying how, in retrospect, she would have spent her mat leave time so much differently. More snuggle time, less focus on productivity.

I was holding a sleeping Sadie in the crook of my arm as we texted, and I told the friend that it had just hit me a little while ago that soon there will be more months on the other side of my going-back-to-work clock than there are now. In two weeks, Sadie will be 5 months old.

I have NO freaking clue where the time has gone, and I know that as she learns more skills, time will only seem faster.

She’s already sitting up by herself, she’s already pre-crawling. She’s learning to roll over and can already roll herself halfway. Every time I practice more of these skills with her, I cheer and say “You’re Doing It!! Yayyy!!” But I know that with each skill she gains, she is going to want to get further away from me.

Whether it’s crawling down the hall or eventually riding a bike, all the things I want her to learn are things that separate us, and that’s okay.

But for now, while she still wants nothing more than to stare into my eyes and be nestled into my arms, I’m going to snuggle the crap out of her. Even if it means summer days spent almost entirely on the couch.

I was watching her sleeping face today as the afternoon sun shone through our living room window. I looked at her white-blonde hairs jutting straight up from the top of her head, glowing golden in the sunlight. I looked at the sun shining through her tiny ear, making it look coral pink and warm, the little blonde hairs around her earlobe fuzzy like a peach. I watched her eyes flit back and forth under her eyelids, lost in a dream somewhere. She made a frightened peep and looked scared for a moment in her dream. I took her pudgy hand, wrapped its little fingers in mine and comforted her- her asleep, and me awake, drinking all of her in.

I knew in that moment that it doesn’t matter where she goes in this life, or how far away from me she gets. My love for her will never know any bounds, and she will always know where her home is.

I’m so excited for crawling Sadie, and for walking Sadie, and for bike-riding Sadie, and for grown-up and traveling the world Sadie.

But for now, while I still have snuggling Sadie, I’m going to pull her in close to me and take every moment that I can.

I did Nothing today- and yet, I did Everything.

XO, Em