Cherishing the last days before returning to work

I only have three more business days before I have to return to work. Granted, “returning to work“ just means getting on my computer in the second bedroom and being stuck in front of a screen all day, but it still means that I will have to work and not be in front of my daughter all day the way I’ve been used to. The last 20 weeks have flown by so quickly. It makes me sad that I have to go back to work and not spend every minute with her anymore, but I actually don’t feel as bad about it as I did a few weeks ago. I have come to accept it, especially since we just hired a nanny. My friend was right: she told me that I would get more comfortable with going back to work once we secured childcare. And that’s kind of what happened.

We have had a lot of visitors in the last week before I return to work. I had friends come over on Monday. A friend/former colleague came to visit us after work on Tuesday. I went out to lunch with a friend today and took the baby. On Friday, we also have a friend visiting who will meet the baby for the first time. I have also been very intentional about getting out of the apartment at least once a day with the baby, particularly when the weather is good. It’s what I originally wanted to do when it started warming up, but it’s just that there have been a lot of cold days, and I don’t really want her outside when it’s too cold. I want her to have some fresh air, even if it’s “fresh air” by city standards. She clearly hates the wind. Every time we have been on the roof and it has been windy, she makes this shuddering breathing sound that doesn’t sounds good.

I took her to a bakery on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, we ate outdoors with my friend. Even the baby ate outdoors as I gave her a bottle while sitting outside. I am planning to take her to Central Park tomorrow, perhaps to Sheep’s Meadow for some fun time on the grass and among the cherry blossoms. A nanny that I interviewed told me that babies just need to take in every little thing, but that requires us to expose them to all of those little things. All of the things that we as adults take for granted, like staring up at a blue cloudless sky, hearing the rustling of the trees, birds chirping, and the sight of full blooms are all things that are brand new experiences to babies. It is up to us to expose them to all of these beautiful things. It was a good reminder to me. I am looking forward to seeing the baby’s reaction when I put her feet on grass for the first time. I want to be there to witness as many of her “firsts” as possible.

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