I am beyond excited that tomorrow is my last day of work for the summer. While this past year has been the happiest of my life, I could not have known before heading back to work after maternity leave that it would also be undoubtedly the hardest. Being a working mom is hard, people. Really, really hard. Add to that a baby who didn't sleep for 9 months and an autoimmune disorder (mine, not Sweets') with some nasty side effects and I am honestly shocked that I made it through mostly in one piece. And my reward is two months with my baby boy :)
But before that begins, I would be remiss if I didn't give a giant, from-the-bottom-of-my-heart thank you to the two ladies who made it possible for me to leave my son every day - my mom and my next-door neighbor, who split child care duty for Sweetie Pea. These women were not just the babysitters of my child, they were the babysitters of my sanity. I'm not even kidding. There were so many mornings when they packed me off to work in tears after a sleepless night or a 2 am argument with my husband with their gentle and encouraging words. So many days when they hugged me and told me it was all going to be ok. They were always there when the going got rough (which was often), always supportive when I struggled with supply issues and feared I'd have to supplement (I never did, with the exception of the week I returned to work as my supply adjusted to my pumping schedule). And most importantly, they took care of my son with as much love as if he were their own. It broke my heart to walk away from him every day, but I never, ever had to worry that he wasn't in the best possible hands. I am a better mother, and a better woman for having learned from and been supported by them. So ladies, please don't ever think that every bottle you returned washed, stain you pretreated, day you kept Sweets late when I got held up at work, midday "I miss my baby" text you responded to with a picture of him, and every moment that you mothered me as well as my son went unnoticed. Thank you with every fiber of my being for caring for and loving my baby as much as I do, for listening to me obsess over his sleep for months on end, for teaching him things, and for teaching me things. I wouldn't have been able to do it without you!