The weeks leading up to Ryann's birth were pretty hectic. Work was hectic, home was hectic (I was in major nesting mode at that point)...life just felt hectic. So other than being super excited to finally meet my baby girl, I was really looking forward to unplugging from work and just being home. Since I graduated from college 8 years ago and started my career, I have never had more than a couple weeks off at a time from work. So 3 whole months off seemed like a dream.
Fast forward 12 weeks. The time is here. This Monday, December 9th, is the day I go back to work after a 12 week maternity leave. When I had Ryann nearly 12 weeks ago, I remember thinking December 9th seemed like a year away. But it went soooo fast. And I find myself experiencing a plethora of emotions. Glad to be getting back into the swing of things, anxious about getting caught up on all of the changes that occurred while I was out, nervous about how she'll survive without me responding immediately to her every need, but mostly sad about having to leave my girl. I've never been away from her for more than 4 hours at a time since she was born. So the thought of being away from her for 8+ hours everyday just makes me plain sad.
Thankfully my mom will be here with her for the rest of this month. I wish that could be more of a permanent care option because, next to me, I know my mom would take the best care of her. But my parents live on the other side of town so daycare is the best option for now.
Speaking of daycare, I can't help but think about the fact that no one will pick her up every time she cries or give her the hugs and kisses I would give her if I was home with her all day. I think about some of her "firsts" that I'll miss while at work or traveling for work. It pains me to know that she'll be exposed to all kinds of icky germs that she might not be exposed to if she was home every day.
My list of worries seems endless. But then there's God. A God that reminds me in Matthew 6 that worrying won't add a single hour to my life...instead I must trust that just as He provides food for the birds of the air, He will protect her, loves her more than I ever could, and has a plan for her precious life.
My mom also reminded me the other day that many working moms don't get 12 weeks off to bond with their babies. So, for that, I'm grateful. Grateful for paid leave and a job to go back to. Can I get an Amen for paid time off!?
I can say with full confidence that the past 3 months have been some of the most challenging, yet most exciting and rewarding months of my life. I'm so in love with my sweet girl and, rather than wallow in worry and fear of the unknown, I want nothing more than to redirect that energy toward making the most of the time that I do have with her...mornings, evenings, weekends, and all of the little moments in between.
Monday starts a new chapter in our lives...I'm reluctantly buckling up for the ride...but buckling up nonetheless.
It's yours, Lord. It's yours.