I go back to work tomorrow. My third and favourite maternity leave has come to an end…and I feel blue.
As I look back over this year it feels like an eternity ago that I gleefully packed up my desk and practically skipped through London to catch my train home. My baby bump was colossal but I had a spring in my step. I had a huge expanse of time ahead of me to be a full time mum to Violet and Ezra and bring my precious Felix into the world. I have done so much over this year, we have certainly been busy! And now I find myself about to give it up and go back to work full time. My heart aches.
Why has this been my favourite maternity leave? I feel like I’ve fulfilled everything I wanted to do in being Felix’s mum. I have achieved things which I didn’t with Violet and Ezra…
I had a home birth. It wasn’t the calm, peaceful birth I had planned, however it was magical to be at home and in my own surroundings. I’m so thankful I had such a positive birth.
I exclusively breastfed Felix. This felt like an old demon which I wanted to extinguish. Feeding Violet and Ezra was fraught with complexities and frustrations. I was so determined to feed Felix that it became my number 1 focus in those first few weeks. My weekly targets changed into months and now I find myself with a 12 month old and we are still enjoying our breastfeeding journey. I have loved it more than I expected and hope I can continue until Felix decides he is ready to stop.
We coslept. It’s not something I set out to do but Felix refused to sleep in the Moses basket and crib. We bought a second hand co-sleeper crib and he settled so well. It made night feeds much more manageable not having to get out of bed and also he was right there next to me. I was sad when he outgrew it at 7 months and graduated to the cot.
I used slings with Felix 95% of the time. It made being a mum to all 3 of my children so much easier as each could have a piece of me at the same time! School runs are easier, using the bus is easier and meeting my baby’s needs is easier. I have loved carrying Felix, and Felix has loved it too.
This maternity leave has also given me precious time with Violet and Ezra. I was there for Violet’s first year at school and have thoroughly enjoyed being a school mum! Whilst Violet is at school I have kept Ezra busy with playgroups and activities every day. He has blossomed into such a smart, inquisitive and articulate boy. It’s felt like a total bonus spending so much time with Ezra. I will treasure it.
And then there’s new friends! I felt like I put myself out there into the “mummy world” this time and have made some really wonderful friends. Brilliant sounding boards, company, laughter and to be fair they have kept me sane!
So I look back with positive thoughts and gratitude. Felix means ‘lucky’. I feel lucky to have him in my life and will forever be thankful to him for giving me this magical year of new experiences.
I hope tomorrow goes well. I’m sure it will, just a day that I need to get over and done with and find our new normal. I will look forward to seeing this little face when I get home!0