Monday, December 23, 2013

The Grinch's Heart is Officially Melting

If you don't remember, I've grown to kind of dislike Christmas. Nothing tragic happened to me as a child, but as I've gotten older, Christmas has been equated with stress and having no money and trying to find the perfect thing for people who have everything and high pitched music that seems to be worse than Chinese water torture.

Last year at this time, I was preparing for another Christmas that would stress me out and probably still hadn't finished all of my shopping yet because I always wait until the last minute. I had even written a whole post about being a Grinch. I had no idea that on December 30, 2012, my life would completely change.

That's a lie. I had a small idea.

See, last year at Christmas, I slept all week. I slept all night, I slept most of the day. I snored (which I never do!). I had crazy heartburn. I kept taking really deep breaths but feeling like I couldn't catch my breath. I knew something was different.

And something was very different indeed. I was pregnant!

So this year, a whole miraculous year later, while I watch my beautiful four month old baby girl sleep with this angelic little look on her face, Christmas has a whole new meaning. It reminds me of the happiness as well as the trepidation I felt last year around this time. It reminds me of how thankful I am to be a mother this year and how lucky I am to have this little girl. Not everyone gets a Christmas present like the one I got last year.

How could you be a Grinch with this little elf??
 LoLo loves Christmas and this year as he put up his tree, he kept saying, "This is for my little girl." He played Christmas music in the living room with only the light of the tree lighting the room. And it got to me. It started melting my little Grinchy heart. I may or may not have cried a little bit while rocking my little girl to sleep one night as the Christmas music played. I know I sound like a broken record, but this baby is so special to me and I know that this time of year will always be different now. This will always be the time of year that I learned my whole life would change forever.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mom, working

As you can imagine, life lately has been consumed by my little girl. I finally feel like I am starting to get to know her and to know what she needs. This little baby is so good. And I'm not just saying that because I'm her mother. When we're around people who have just met her, they always ask us if she's always this well behaved. My answer: yes, for the most part. She is has her moments, but overall, she is such a good baby.

She sleeps through the night. She rarely cries (only if she's hungry or tired). She smiles nearly all day. I can't tell you how happy I am. Alexia is the sweetest little girl.

Now can I be real for a few minutes?

About 5 weeks ago, I went back to work. The first day was tough. I dropped Alexia off at her new daycare (which we love by the way) and got back in my car. I let myself cry for 5 minutes on the way to work and then forced myself to stop. I knew that if I let myself cry any longer than that, I would be crying all day.

But once I got back to my desk, sitting in front of my computer, catching up on everything, chatting with my co-workers, a piece of me that had been lost for 9 weeks returned. I felt more comfortable than I had in a while. I knew what I was doing. I was good at what I was doing. I felt confident.

I felt like myself again. I've always known how much I love my work. I love what I get to do every day. I really missed work while I was on maternity leave.

I know some moms would feel guilty for feeling the way I feel. We've all been told at some point or another that we are letting someone else raise our child while we work. And while that is partially true, my daughter knows who I am. She smiles when she sees me. When I get home from work every night, I spend that precious time with her cuddling and laughing and playing. On weekends we spend time staring at each other and I give her way too many kisses (that's totally not possible) and tell her how much I love her.

Alexia needs a happy mama. I would not be a happy mama without my work. Staying at home is not something I'm good at. I was an awful housewife during funemployment. During my maternity leave, I realized I need some balance. I need to feel productive and I need to work my brain in ways that just aren't possible when I'm at home with a baby. Of course I realize how difficult it is to be a stay at home mom and how there is a different type of productivity that comes with that role, but I just couldn't do it. And I don't feel guilty about that.