Time has been flying by, as usual. I blinked and a week went by since my last post.
School started yesterday, which marked the official end to my almost-ten-month maternity leave. I know. That's a really long time. I was really really lucky. I am really really lucky.
Even though that I'm technically "back to school/work", I still don't have to be physically away from Eliza for many hours a week. Yesterday I was gone about 3 hours. My parents watched her and, even though she wouldn't take an afternoon nap for them, she did great. She was happy as can be and didn't even notice I was gone. Tomorrow I'll be at school for about 6 hours. This will officially be the longest I've ever been away from her. Again, I know, I shouldn't complain, right? That's nothing compared to some moms. But still, it's all relative and for me it's going to be hard. But I know I will get used to it, and so will she.
I'm sad to be back in some ways -- and it's not just because I have to be physically away from her -- my mind is also elsewhere now... thinking, worrying, planning, etc. Focusing on classes, writing papers, teaching, managing the course website... my mind is always 'on' now and I'm constantly thinking of things I need to do. It's a little different than what I've been used to. But, again, I know I will get used to it.
Honestly, I wouldn't change a thing. Even though it's challenging, there are many benefits to having a baby in grad school (never thought you'd hear that, I bet) My schedule is great, and I've been able to spend almost ten whole months focused on my daughter without worrying about losing my job.
My mom says she is who she is because of me; she is a happy, contented baby and that it's because of me and the time we've spent together. I hope so. I hope this time we've had together has shaped her for the better. It has been wonderful to be able to be there for her 24/7 - to allow her to nurse on-demand, to nap with her, to lay on the floor and play with her all morning, to take her to play dates, out to lunch, to see friends, go shopping... she's been my constant companion. She will still be my nearly-constant companion, but still... I'm going to miss having her around all day every day!
We will all adjust to the new way of things, and then, we will adjust again when the next set of changes comes along down the road. That's part of life, and although I will be the first to admit that it's not my favorite part of life -- I never have been a fan of change -- it's a whole lot easier when I have such a wonderful, happy, beautiful, smart baby and a loving husband by my side.