The Third Ode to a Mother’s Mourning

In a few weeks, I will return to work full time after having our third daughter. I’ve been lucky enough to have a 16 week parental leave with full pay which has allowed me to work a little bit the last month or so and to get everyone as ready as we’ll ever be for the return to our ‘normal’ routine, except it’s not really normal now with another baby and a big sister in kindergarten.

Several years ago, when I had a three month period at home with our oldest daughter in between jobs, I wrote a blog post about this same waiting period of knowing that I was returning to work full time but not quite there yet. I really dislike transition periods because I’m not very good at being present in the moment. It’s hard for me to know a change is coming, but not just yet. I’ve felt stuck the last few weeks in between work and home with too much to do at home, at work, at volunteer roles and not feeling like I’m doing any of them adequately except caring for the baby.

Having a baby is such a big change and I definitely underestimated how much this transition would affect me. However, one major difference, 6 years later, between having our oldest and having our third is knowing full well that I will be mourning the loss of this period in time and it is ok and it is normal. I’ve spent almost every day with this little baby for the last 13 weeks, memorizing every inch of her, knowing her baby smell and the way she smiles and we’ve gotten pretty close – which of course, is the point.

I really love being a working mom, I love my career and my volunteer roles and I don’t have a desire to be a stay at home mother, but that doesn’t mean that I am not mourning the loss of this sweet, sweet period in time when life is a little slower and I get to spend long stretches with just this baby. I’ve gotten to kind of “nest” in our home – something for which I usually don’t have time. It’s not that I want this period to go on forever, but I will still grieve the end of a beautiful and innocent time with my littlest baby girl. That’s why I’ve called this an “ode,” a song and poem to pause and acknowledge and sit with the sadness every mother feels at different periods in time. For all the mommas out there grieving the loss of an era, I feel your pain and I’m lifting you up in prayer today.