21 March 2011


"I'm beginning to perceive motherhood as a long, slow letting go,
of which birth is just the first step." - Sandra Steingraber, Having Faith

Yesterday Julia turned 6 months old. Yesterday we fed her her first solid food. Today is the spring equinox. Tomorrow Sergio starts his 6-month parental leave ... and tomorrow ... I go back to work. It is a weekend of transition for all of us.

baking cookies with baby

I am confident in my decision to return to work full time. Over the last 6 months I've wondered if I would be; I'm so pleased to discover that I am. There are things I'm looking forward to about going back to work. Even though it is hard to say good-bye to my maternity leave. Everything during my final week of leave felt sort of ceremonial. Wednesday I baked cookies all afternoon; Thursday we had a play date at the park (a play date for the mommies more than the babies); on Friday I dressed Julia in my favorite outfit of hers, we ran some of my favorite errands (3 grocery stores!), I had 2 cappuccinos and I only cried twice. These are all petty little things but since it was my last week of leave, they managed to take on greater meaning. (And - to clarify - it wasn't the cappuccinos that made me cry - it was Julia's smile.)

playing at the park

The things that I will miss during the day: Julia's many sweet expressions; her limitless and indiscriminate curiosity (Oh, is that your phone? Can I see it? Oh, is that your water bottle? Can I see it? Oh, is that your khun ma pad thai? Can I have some?); the way she gums everything, even if it tastes weird or is uncomfortable (the rough side of the velcro strap or a piece of paper); and - of course - nursing. I will so look forward to savoring all of these things when I come home every night.

breakfast with Daddy

And during the day I will savor the knowledge that she's in good hands with her dad.


Anne said...

I've been thinking of you today, Emily! I hope your day is going smoothly. I remember the first week back very distinctly. The feeling that stood out for me most was the realization that for the first time in six months, I could count on being able to work on something, uninterrupted, for more than 10 minutes. Such bliss! Also, I suddenly had HOURS out of the day that I could talk to grown-ups about grown-up things. I didn't realize how much I had missed these things until I got back. However, I was still ready to bolt out the door by 3:00 to go snatch up my baby. :) You'll make a great working mama!

mom said...

Very well said, my love. I'm loving how you and Sergio are loving being parents.

Anonymous said...

You seemed to have transitioned coming back to work as smoothly and beautifully as you transformed yourself into a loving, sensitive mama to Julia. It is great having you back and I hope your journey as a mama and a creative, vibrant woman in the workplace continues to be an enjoyable and rewarding one. Kudos to you and Sergio for making parenting such a joyful experience for you both. DZ

Emily said...

Thanks, Dee!

Anne, you are right on. That is almost exactly how I felt after just the first day back. I'm feeling really good about being back at work - almost like I never left (in a good way!).

Morgan said...

I love this! Love reading about everything made sure not to take for granted and love that you are confident in your decision and ready to go back!
Julia's smile melts my freakin heart. Geez she's gorgeous!
Ok, so I wish I would've asked you before you headed back to work-but, when can we get together again?
Maybe I will find you guys at a farmer's market-or we could grab a coffee beforehand sometime soon!
Shaw says hi to Julia!

Emily said...

Yes, Morgan! I'd love to get together! I'll send you a message. Let's plan something!