I am sitting at my cubicle, surrounded by baby photos, frames, note pads, pens, a calendar and a jar of peanut butter.
I just took this stuff out of a box nine months ago!! Now, here I am, packing it all up again for another year. Tomorrow is my last day at Global.
The last time I went on maternity leave, the feeling was bittersweet. I had serious FOMO. It was strange to suddenly put my career on hold to become a full-time mom, overnight. I didn’t go to school for that. There were no tests, no trial runs, no internships to prepare me. I feared change, I feared the implications of motherhood and I feared being forgotten. I probably was, haha! But a year later I came back to work and everything was the same. It was as if I had never left.
This time, emotions are mixed as well, but for different reasons. I know what I’m getting into with a new baby, and that’s why I’m dreading my departure! I’m still working on lowering my expectations for mat leave No. 2. Just keep the kids fed, changed and occupied. That’s it. If I manage to get anything else done, it’s a bonus.
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That being said, I’m really ready to go.
I’m exhausted. I’m sore. I’m unproductive. And I’m tired of hearing my lungs wheeze every time I walk up the stairs from the studio!
My mind and my body need the next few weeks, while my daughter is in daycare, to rest. She’s still a baby after all. She still sleeps in a crib, wears diapers and drinks from a bottle. I didn’t give myself much time between the two girls: about 21 months.
Our thinking was, let’s get the really tough early years over faster. We’re in baby mode. We’re already in the thick of parenting a young child and building our family. What are we waiting for?
And down the road, we hope the two siblings will play relatively well together; that they’ll have similar interests, go through similar stages, and be little companions. It’s not for everybody, but it’s what we felt would work best for us.
My parents’ choices also had an influence on our decision to have our children close in age. My brother and I were born within a year of one another. We’re actually the same age for three days, and we’ve always been very close. My mom claims the close age gap “wasn’t bad at all.” But she also has the patience of a saint, and the memory of a goldfish. She was born to be a mom.
Sometimes, I think I was not. But I’m learning to make peace with motherhood and all of its challenges; to change my mindset, lower my expectations and embrace the chaos. Time is running out though. We’re about to have two under two in just over two weeks! While I only have two hands, I’m praying I’ll have twice the patience and twice the heart to survive the next year.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Carole Anne will be blogging during her maternity leave — but only if the kids are fed, changed and occupied! Follow along at www.cadevaney.com.