Miranda Wensel Photography » Edmonton and area docu-lifestyle family photography

As I Return

this post is going to be pretty personal…at a depth that i usually don’t unfold to those closest to me, nevermind out into cyberspace at large. but sometimes there is something so freeing to just let it out.

life is made up of the choices you make. i’m sure you’ve all heard that before.

21 months ago, i knew that i would be taking my entire maternity/parental leave for a full year. i return to work one week from today. it will be one of the hardest things i will choose to do. since becoming a mother, i don’t think i have ever imagined it to be this hard…and we’re only at the beginning! don’t get me wrong, our son, tristan, is one of the best – he’s been super easy-going and all smiles since he was born. we couldn’t have asked for more. i couldn’t have asked for more. healthy. happy. what’s hard are the emotional and mental strings that play throughout. the adapting and changing your lifestyle. the changes it places on your marriage. learning how strong a magnetic forcefield one little 7 pound, 3 ounce being has.

in 11 months, one little guy, in the shortest amount of time {much less than his dad!} has completely stolen my heart forever. no, let me rewrite this. since seeing his little pea sized self in our first ultrasound, my heart was his. forever.

so you would think, being blessed with a happy, healthy, bouncing and loving baby that i would be all peaches. not the case. when most would be enjoying their maternity leave with their newborn, i did the following: i started my photography business {which took alot of time away from family}, i complained and grunted and moaned about my lack of sleep. i complained about not having a child who slept through the night, i complained, at one point, about having to hold him to sleep for too long. in short, i complained.

gasp. i sound like a horribly selfish mother don’t i? on the flip side {and i say ‘i’ only because this is my story, and not my husband’s…he did all these things as well}, i also cuddled, snuggled, kissed, coddled, held, loved him as much and as best as i could. i read to him. i sang to him. i played with him. i taught him. i loved him. i love him. and i will continue to do all these throughout his life.

in hindsight, being able to reflect will make me a stronger person. a stronger mother. a better wife. looking back at where the year went {and fast is an understatement!}, i became struck with guilt. did i do the absolute best i could with the 11 months i had with him? could i have done better? i think these are questions i will probably plague myself with for the rest of our lifetimes together. i also think the answers to these questions will be reflected in his growth and the choices he makes in life, as days become years, and years become a lifetime.

returning to work has made me realize how much of our last year together i have taken for granted. all that time for: his smiles. the naps. our playtime. the laughter. his laughter. the memories created. all of his milestones. the cuddles, snuggles and kisses. i know, i will still have that. but much less time, of which i will cherish that much more.

in short, i feel guilty at times. but on the flip side, i do know that i did the best given the choices that i made. i wish i didn’t complain as much, but that doesn’t take away the fact that i cherished every. single. moment. with him. i love the first year memories that i will carry with me as he grows, which will intertwine with newly built memories.

after all this, what have i learned in the last year then? being a parent needs to be a very self-less thing. the true meaning of unconditional love. that it’s something i can’t define or put into words, but just know. that despite how hard the change in lifestyles, relationships, and yourself may be, to really enjoy the moment. spend as much time with your little one, whether he/she be your first or your tenth. whether your baby is a good sleeper or not, or has colic, etc. to be there when they need you, and cuddle and snuggle as much as you can…because i’m pretty sure that it will come back in the end. time goes, and you never ever get it back.

so love. enjoy. create. and above all, cherish.

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*photo credit: aeris photography

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