It had cooled down considerably today, and after breakfast while Rob had some time in the garden I pushed the girls in the pram down to the laundry hut to do some washing. I could see their eyes getting heavy, so I put up the hammock, and rocked Elisabeth in the pram with one hand whilst rocking Maggie and I in the hammock.
I could have snoozed, but instead I enjoyed the moment with my girls. I return to part time work next Wednesday. After 13 months of maternity leave it will be a bit of a readjustment. At the beginning the months ahead seemed to be such a long time, and even when I had a meeting in August with my supervisors, my return still seemed such a long time away. Since Rob has been on holidays with us, I have been mindful of the return date, but instead of letting sadness or worry ruin my remaining days as purely a stay at home Mama I have tried to enjoy each day.
So today I looked down at a sleeping, snuggling Maggie on my chest in the hammock, and later this afternoon Elisabeth in my lap on the window seat and I soaked in the moment. No iPhone. Just us. I listened to the sounds of our home, the dogs panting in the shade, the washing machine sloshing through a cycle, the buzz of insects, the breeze rustling the grass, a swallow singing above me on the washing line. I looked at the hut, Rob when he walked by covered in Lily pollen, the peaceful look on the girls faces, and high above us,
a wedge tailed eagle, slowly circling higher and higher against the cloudy sky.
Of course I will be a bit sad to leave next Wednesday morning, but for the first six months Rob will be taking some leave to look after them at home. So I know they will be fine and enjoy some time with their Papa. I am trying not to worry about all the tasks that await my return (I have been warned a few things have slipped in my absence). Or the fact that I thought the girls might have weaned themselves by now, well that will work out too. I'm no stranger to the breast pump, so it will come with me to work, and the girls can drink expressed milk from a bottle or a cup. I am only returning at 50%, so I will still be here most of the time anyway.
All those things I gazed at or listened to will still be here. Sure I may miss some of those big firsts, but I have witnessed so many this past year, I shouldn't let it upset me so.
Finally I worked out this morning, that just because I'm returning this year, it is not set in stone that it has to stay that way forever. Once I repay my years service, if things are not working out, we can reassess and try a different arrangement that works for our family.
A friend commented on Facebook recently that I might struggle to cope with tearing myself away from the girls. I replied that I haven't forgotten for the first 112 days of their lives, I did just that, tore myself away as I said goodbye and left them every day in the NICU. That was hard. At least at the end of a work day I will come home to my family.
So as I enjoy each day of my last week, including my birthday on Saturday, I will store away little memories to smile at during my work day. Of two happy girls with their Papa, a couple of German Shepherds and a small little hut. My family whom I adore in our home. How can I be sad about that?