How is it that fourteen weeks have elapsed since you made your way into our world? I have never had a more present understanding of the speed by which time passes until you arrived. It seems like just yesterday Daddy was carefully driving me to the hospital on the night that you were born.
And now, fourteen weeks later, I start my first full week back at work. It occurred to me that if you go back to the very day I became pregnant with you and count the days we spent together through my maternity leave, you and I spent our days together for over a year. Baby Jane, it has been the very best year of my life. You have brought so much joy into my life. You have taught me to love in a way that I didn't know existed. Each day that I have seen the world through your innocent eyes has been like seeing it for the very first time.
It is with very mixed emotions that I return to work. On one hand, my heart breaks knowing that I will miss so much of your life. I will miss our morning chats and our afternoon walks. I will miss your big bright smile when you wake from your naps. I will miss exploring our neighborhood with you. I will likely miss your first roll over, and your first word, and your first steps. Those are the things that make my heart ache. Knowing just how fleeting these moments are, and the fact that I will not be a part of them, breaks my heart into two pieces.
Where I gather comfort is knowing that each and every day I will be dropping you off at my mommy and daddy's house. Grandpa retired and will be looking after you four days a week. The other day you'll be spending with your daddy. This is what gets me through the day. You are in the very best hands. My mommy will play with you in the mornings until the very moment she leaves for work. Then, you will get to spend your day learning about war history and cooking and gardening. Your grandpa will take you for walks up to the lake where you will learn about sailboats and seagulls. You will have the benefit of being loved by the two very best parents in the world - mine. For that, I am eternally grateful.
For some, going back to work is a necessity. For me, it is a choice. It is not an easy one. It does not make me a better mother. It does not make me a worse mother. It is also a challenge. It is likely the greatest one I have faced to date. If there was a guidebook that instructed how to strike the perfect balance between work, philanthropy, friendship, and family, it would be worth millions. Without one, I will have to navigate my way down this path without a map or a compass. While I find myself anxious not knowing where it will lead, there is no doubt in my mind that I will always be able to find my way home to you, Baby Jane.
Jane, I love you more than I could ever say. I will never be the perfect mother, but please know, that every day I will wake up trying to be better than I was the day before.
Each day, there is no moment I look forward to more than the moment when I hold you in my arms again.
I love you,
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