I noticed last night, after all of the Easter festivities were finished, that my soul was sad. Not only was yesterday a wonderful holiday celebration, and it’s hard to come down from the high of being around all of the lovely people in my life, but I also realized that yesterday was my last Sunday on maternity leave.
I begin work next weekend, which many find strange, but it’s my team’s turn to be on-call, and so it seemed a better choice to start a few days early and go back to work with my team. But I am propelling my emotions forward a week and feeling sad. Sad that this lovely time with Potamus is ending.
Today is Monday, and I am finding one foot in the present moment, being mindful and aware of how I am feeling RIGHT NOW. Potamus and I lounged in bed nursing this morning and I just kept looking at his sweet face and thinking ‘I love this. I love him. I am sad that this is going to be different in a week.’ The other foot is in the future, trying to plan out my schedule in my head to minimize the anxiety that is going to be coming my way. This planner part of my personality can be quite dangerous, and so I am trying to only let it in sparingly, otherwise I might find myself pulling away from both Boof and Potamus to try and lessen the pain of going back to work.
To be honest, that pulling away feeling is what I am dreading happening. I’m not sure if it’s leftover postpartum anxiety, but I sometimes worry that when I am not the only one who is able to feed him, and have that lovely snuggly time, that I will somehow no longer be his mother. No, not that I won’t be his mother, per se, but that I won’t feel that bond, and that my not feeling the bond will affect him not feeling the bond. Perhaps it’s an unfounded fear, but it feels real nonetheless. Even when people ask me about breastfeeding, I have to be honest, I know that many people exclusively pump to give their child the nutrients that are found in breastmilk without the nursing experience (whether they couldn’t or didn’t want to), I breastfeed for the emotional bond, and not necessarily for the nutrient benefits. I don’t see formula as poison, and probably would feed Potamus formula if he couldn’t nurse. So I worry that when the nursing relationship changes, even slightly, that I will feel less of an emotional bond to him. It may sound crazy, but I have even found times lately, where he’s crying and I feel like I am incapable of meeting his needs, and I pass him off to Boof or my mother-in-law. Will I become completely apathetic once I begin work?