A Letter to my Son at the End of my Maternity Leave

What a year! I have never been so tired and my life has never been so full of purposed, love, laughs and tears.

Did I ever have plans for us. I planned to buy a house, planned a wedding, planned a honeymoon, planned one last big trip before I planned to try and conceive you. I planned on how to tell our family and friends, planned our finances, planned the nursery, meal planned, planned how we would parent, how we would handle holidays, how we would handle maternity leave. I had so many plans and hopes and dreams and preconceived notions. 

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No amount of planning could have prepared me for the days, weeks and months after you came into this world. With your tiny body and huge spirit, you dominated my life. You took over every aspect of my mind, my heart and my house. Your needs were unending and I gave everything I had. 

With your tiny body and huge spirit, you dominated my life.

My love for you was forged in the sleepless nights, tears, worries and pain. Oh so much pain, the physical pain of carrying you to 42 weeks, the pain of labour and the pain of the major surgery that brought you into this world. The pain of learning to breastfeed and the pain of my body adjusting to your needs. The pain of c-section recovery which in itself was all consuming. The pain of carrying your weight as you’ve grown into the toddler you are today. More so, the emotional pain of zero sleep as you charged into leap 2 and wouldn’t sleep more than 1-2 hours at a time. The pain of my heart bursting as I realized that you are what this is all for. You are the reason I met your Dad, you are the reason my life took all the twists and turns it did. You are the reason I continue to struggle and grow and change. 

I’ve never been an especially proud person but I am now and will forever be so proud of you. Proud of your physicality, proud of your kind nature, proud of how you’ve learned to be a good sleeper. I am just beaming with pride every day, anytime you do something new or make a new discovery. I’m proud of the way you explore the world and embrace change. 

These last fourteen months have by far been the toughest time of my entire life. I have been pushed to my limits in every single way possible. I have been so emotionally conflicted, I questioned my own intuition daily and am just learning to trust my gut. I have had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows this past year. I know what it means to cry tears of joy one moment and tears of deep sorrow the next. 

I have worked hard to create a strong bond with you by being there every time you need me while allowing you to take small steps into your own life. I know your likes and dislikes even though they are constantly changing, I know what every grunt and sound mean even though it’s gibberish to everyone else. I know our bond is strong when I catch your eye while you’re playing and you give me a sweet smile that is only for me. I would give everything I have and everything I am to keep you safe.

You have had me all to yourself for your whole life and as this time together comes to an end I am overcome with emotions. I look back at what we’ve been through, I am in awe of how far we’ve come. You have made me a Mama and I am forever grateful for you and for what this year has taught me. I look forward in excitement and trepidation. The thought of leaving you everyday makes my heart ache, but I know this will be good for both of us. You will grow and learn so much more than what I could teach you. You will build your own connections and have your own experiences without me. I hope you become the person you were meant to be, but for these last few days, stay my little toddler baby and let me cuddle you some more.

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