On the eve of your first day of school, well nursery, I am conflicted with emotion. As it always does, maternity leave comes to an end in just a few short hours. Tomorrow ends the journey of seeing your little face all day. I will spend more time looking into my computer screen instead of your dark eyes. But it is not sad.
I want you to know that I am a better mommy because I work. While I enjoy my time with you and our family, more than anything else in the world, I am a working mommy. It is not because I don’t want to spend time with you. It is because, while I respect them, I am not stay-at-home mom material. I am sorry, but I am not sorry. I hope you see that I work hard and I enjoy my work. I take pride in the achievement in my career. I want it all, the home and the career.
I am looking forward to tomorrow for both of us. For you, tomorrow is the start of your independence outside of our home. It is a chance for your little personality to flourish as you meet friends, enjoy new surroundings, and kick off your education. Tomorrow, you start to make an imprint on your clean slate. Your education will be will be a journey. There will be highs and lows and hurdles and triumphs. Daddy and I will be with you each step of the way from learning your colors to helping with geometry. It will be exciting to see your brain absorb it all like a sponge.
While I will most likely shed tears tomorrow, it is not because I am sad for you or for me. We both have big days ahead of us, and they will be good. The tears are because we will not be together, but know this: absence makes the heart grow fonder. When I come to pick you up, know that I will love you even more.
Enjoy your day to its maximum, but if you can, please look like you missed me just a touch. Understand that there is a balance. If you look like you missed me too much, you will tear my heart apart; if you look like you didn’t miss me at all, you will break it. So there is a balance there, be careful with my mommy emotions.
When we get home, I will hold you, kiss your sweet cheeks, and savor every second. Then the next day, we will do it all over again. It will get better and easier for both of us, don’t worry. It will become our new normal. But first, we have to make it through tomorrow.