Leaving Maternity Leave

I cannot believe that my little baby girl is three months old. My little bundle of sleeping and eating that I brought home in November is now (in addition to sleeping and eating) smiling, cooing, and winning hearts all over Boston with her adorable face and outgoing demeanor. And now, mommy is getting ready to go back to work and it is a big ol' Kitchen Aid mixer of emotions.

Look at that face! Leaving that in the morning will not be easy!

I am definitely looking forward to going back, which makes me feel guilty. Aren't I supposed to want nothing more than to stay home and stare at my beautiful baby all day? Am I a terrible mommy for wanting to go back? Should I take advantage of the fact that I could stay home (with an extreme change to our standard of living) and just do that and kiss off all of our vacations and my new addiction to the smell of Coco Mademoiselle?
I am going to go ahead and give that a big, fat NO; I am not a terrible mommy for this. I will even go as far to say that going back to work will make me a better mommy. You see, it's just that I really do love my career, I love my co-workers, the organization that I work for and the feeling that I get when I help a client move towards success and out of homelessness/criminal thinking/unemployment. I feel that what I do is important and that it is a big piece of how I identify with myself. I want my baby girl to grow up with a role model that shows her a woman can be everything that she wants to be and that contributing to the community and helping others is a part of life, not just something that we talk about or do during the holidays, but an everyday occurrence and something to give us meaning to our days. When she gets older and we volunteer together and talk about the injustices of the world I want her to feel empowered to help change things, not overwhelmed and subsequently bitter about the task at hand. I want her to be able to tell her friends that her mommy helps people for work and that she wants to help people in some way too - whether by making drugs that help people live like her daddy does, cooking yummy food that makes people full and happy or by dancing ballet and making people feel moved through art (or all of them!).

I am looking forward to being back at the office, challenging myself and working hard so that I can come home to my smiling baby girl and share these experiences with her, but that is not to say that I am not already beginning to mourn my time with her, playing with her when she is energetic from her morning nap, watching her fall asleep in my arms in the afternoons, taking her for walks and saying hello to all of the neighborhood people we have come to know. But I know that I am being set up for success and the fact that I have an awesome boss who is allowing me a flexible schedule, plenty of time to pump so that I can continue to solely breastfeed and to just to ease back into my roles at work.

Another HUGE, HUGE help is the fact that we will have a nanny at our home with her so she doesn't have to be in a strange place and she will get lots of the one-on-one attention that such a little person needs. That the nanny is a lovely, trusted friend of mine is even a million times more awesome, and I feel beyond blessed that I get to leave for work next Tuesday knowing that my baby is in the best hands possible and is going to have a ton of fun with her awesome nanny and her new baby friend that is sharing our nanny. I have no complaints at all with this situation and I thank God that everything fell into such wonderful (perfect!) place the way that it did. No rushing around to drop off or pick up the baby, no strange germs or people around her and a smart, talented, wonderful woman to hang out with her all day - the O'Sheas for the win!

With all of that in place I am spending this week and weekend preparing for the transition and preparing myself for life out there in the real world again...where I can't wear yoga pants everyday. I have started running super early on Mondays and Wednesdays so that I can come home, nurse the baby and spend some time with her before I leave for work but can still get my runs in. Kate and I have also committed to at least one yoga class together per week and I will probably start taking the baby to mommy and baby yoga while Matty is on his long Saturday runs to give us both something fun to do together. I have a massage scheduled for Monday morning and am allowing myself at least a couple weeks of crying in the bathroom at work before I get into the swing of things. Lucky for me I have awesome friends at work who I can lean on and I get to come home to the most adorable baby ever!

Lots of other fun things are going on around our house:
Matty is training for the Boston Marathon again and is running for the National Organization for Rare Disorders as he did last year. You can go here to donate to his awesome cause.

We have our first long distance trip with the baby booked for the day after the Marathon when we head to Vegas with Kate, Kendra and V to begin celebrating the end of my 20's. My mom and stepdad are meeting us there to take care of the baby (and us) so we can have some crazy adult time. We have a gorgeous three bedroom suite on the strip at the Hilton and plan on putting our bathing suits on and lounging by the pool for at least many hours. After three days there we are going with my mom and stepdad to San Diego to introduce the baby to my Grandparents and Uncle and have some fun at the zoo and the beach! I cannot wait to have all of my family together with the baby (and to put the baby in sundresses!!).

Whew, that was A LOT. Thank goodness I will be back to work with more time to blog soon :)

Your favorite Mommy, Wife, Volunteer, Career Woman, Friend and all around badass


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