Friday, March 16, 2018

Bye-Bye Mat Leave

Maternity leave is coming to an end. It's going to be an adjustment, and it has us a little anxious. We've settled into a bit of a groove over the last few months, and it's about to get turned upside down.

Hanging in the back yard - March 11, 2018

It feels so different from going back to work after Everett was born. Looking back, it's so clear that Elizabeth was experiencing depression when Everett was very small. Coupled with grief, lack of sleep, and loneliness, going back to work brought some balance. That balance helped everyone. We were able to be somewhat strict about in the office time so that we could get those precious couple hours with Everett between day care and bedtime.

Daddy wear Red Wings & Evie wear Red Wings & Immy wear Red Wings & Mommy wear Red Wings! - March 10, 2018

That will be even more important now. We're going to be back to pumping, cleaning and prepping bottles, doing all the chores at night or on the weekends, grocery shopping, making lunches, and whatever else comes up in limited time. But we can't sacrifice fun time. Play time. Reading time. For an hour or two every day, we need to have that connection with our kids.  Chris needs to commit to leaving on time and putting his work phone away when he gets home, and Elizabeth needs to start with her boundaries in place from day one.  It will be a challenge, but it's important.

One thing Elizabeth got done during this maternity leave is a photo book about Oberon that Everett and Imogen can read. It tells the story of Oberon being born, being in NICU, and coming home. It has pictures of Obie with us and his many visitors. We even ordered two copies so that sticky little fingers won't stress us out. With Everett grasping more and more as he grows, we know questions about Oberon are not far away.

Obie bear and Obie's book

Imogen is enjoying (and demanding) more attention as well. Her smiles are magic and she loves being talked to or sung to. She's rolling and nearly sitting. Her personality is really starting to come out, and that makes it harder for Elizabeth to think about leaving her for hours every weekday.

Officially rollin' - February 27, 2018 

Smiley girl - March 7, 2018

It's a wonderful thing that we have a day care provider that we love. Leaving Imogen with our day care provider also means she gets to spend the day with Everett. While she won't get as much mommy and me time, she will get more sibling time.

We know we are lucky that Elizabeth was able to be off for four months. Even so, it doesn't feel like long enough this time. We'll adjust, Elizabeth will get back into all the projects and relationships at work, and Imogen will meet new friends. There will be bumps, but hopefully they are small ones that we can roll with.

Beasties - March 4, 2018

Four-month-old Bitty - February 28, 2018

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