25 Jan 2012

Raising Kids

My maternity leave time is almost over.

Those six months flew so fast although at the start they felt like the longest days ever. I recall the first month and the adjustment to the change in my life. There were times I feared certain times of the day like in the morning, trying to be as alert as possible for the early feeds as I did not get much sleep the night before. The afternoons the long hall trying to get him to settle enough to sleep and the evenings the juggling act of carefully placing him in his bassinet hoping not to wake him.

Reflecting on the last five months it seems sleep, or the lack of it for Eli and I was the key struggle we had.

We starting to prepare for my come back to work. We've spoken to both our parents about arrangement for Eli on days I am working. 

I think about whether I would be upset returning back to work. I know I'm going to miss being around  him all day but cry ... I don't know. I didn't even cry when I gave birth. I'll probably be sad and feel a sense of guilt, but what working mom doesn't feel that. 

As I enter back into work I reflect on how hard both my parents worked to raise us kids. There's one memory I have when I was in year one, there was a school event, a parade from memory where parents were invited to come to the school to watch. I remember wishing my parents were there to watch and how sad it made me feel that they weren't. I remember feeling envious of the other kids whose parents were there. I know my parents needed to work as hard as they did to ensure we lived in a comfortable home, went to good schools and provide as much as they possibly could. Our parents had to make sacrifices to give us the life we have now.

Of course I didn't understand that when I was young. All I ever felt growing up was how much more I wanted my parents to be around. How lonely I felt unable to open up to my family because we didn't talk. How so caught up they were in the daily grind that they were too exhausted to talk. 

Having a child has awaken the childhood feelings I've learnt to suppress. I reflect on the behaviours from my parents that I didn't understand or made me feel horrible. I want to ensure I avoid those pitfalls and raise my son differently to how I was raised. I want to build on a strong relationship built on open communication, patience and trust.                    

"Eli I don't want to go back to work I promise to give you as much attention as you need when I am around you. I promise to dedicate the time I'm with you to nurturing you and teaching you everything I know." - Love Mama     
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