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September 21, 2015

Brag Post: Remembering Maternity Leave

Today is my official last day of my second maternity leave.
Tomorrow, it's 'back to the grind', back to 'reality', back to 'work'.
Truth is, the last year has been a lot of hard work, too.

For the last few weeks, people have been asking me how I felt about going back to work. I'm ok with it. Actually, I'm pretty happy about it. It's been an outstanding year, don't get me wrong, but I'm yearning for some "me" time, a chance to work with adults and even the luxury of putting make-up on and getting dressed.

I will, of course, miss spending time with my girls. I will miss sleeping in, lounging in pjs, playing for hours, and having spurts of silliness. But I will make sure to take enough time off to enjoy what I can. It's bittersweet, of course; I won't be there for every moment, but I think I'm ok with that.

Reflecting back on the year, I have to give myself a little pat on the back. I did alright. We did alright. Better than alright. I say we because there's no way I could have done it alone. I reached for support in all places. I owe much of my sanity this past year to my mom and husband who helped whenever I called, and gave me the opportunity to shower, or sleep, or escape for an hour. I was very fortunate to have the company of my best friend, who had her second just months after I did. We spent a lot of time together, worked out, hung out, and went to the mall. Mommy groups, our volunteer Run for the Cure committee, and even this blog gave me an opportunity to connect and express. Thank you all.

Maternity leave is a chance to learn your baby. With a new baby and a toddler in tow, it was a challenge. But I wasn't the first to do it, and I'm certainly not the last. Some days were phenomenal, others, not so much. But we made the most of it. It's sounds cliche, but when I sat down and jotted down all the excursions, activities and experiences we chalked up, I was proud. I am proud.

I should also include in the list: Surviving the Everyday. We ate as a family almost every day. Homecooked meals. We baked. I breastfed, and pumped. I made baby food. We watched lots of TV. I taught the kids about the Pan AM Games, brought them to see the Torch and even took Isabelle to an event. We went to vote back in October 2014. It was the first time I went out with both kids, post surgery. We painted and glued and sang and danced.

I'm bragging. And that's ok. We all need to brag a bit. We're moms. Supermoms.

No, really, I simply did what I had to do, and what I wanted to do, for me, for my girls and my family. And we had fun doing it (most of the time).

For all the stay-at-home moms out there, bless you. It is HARD WORK. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. For all those, like me, heading back to the "work" force, enjoy it. This next stage will come with a whole new set of challenges, but I'm ready for it.

Hug your babies, take lots of pictures, and when you're home from work, be silly.

I intend to do just that.


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