This month marked my return to work (outside of the home). Gone are the days of working in my pajamas alongside my little one. To say I miss her terribly is an understatement. Adjusting has been no easy feat. Although my heart aches for my baby girl, I’ve found a few ways to help me feel closer to her even when we are apart. Here are some of the things that I do until we are reunited:
Look at pictures – My camera roll and Instagram feed is filled with photos of my little one. Each time I look at one, I smile.
Calling her daycare – Initially, I was worried that I would be annoying if I called my baby’s daycare to check on her but I let that go well before her first day. Not only has the staff at her daycare encouraged me to call, but doing so puts my heart and mind at ease. Calling and hearing the classroom void of her cries and getting a glimpse into her day soothes my still tender heart. I know eventually my calls will be less frequent but for now I am thankful to be able to call when I need (or simply want) to.
Keep a favorite toy in the car – Having a toy (or a couple) is ideal for those times when we are on the go. But it’s also ideal for those moments when I need a reminder that the magic and wonder of childhood still fills my life even if we aren’t together as often as we once were.
Talk about her – Whether it’s talking about her to her daddy via text message, answering a coworker’s inquiry about my children or gushing about her to her nana on the drive home, talking about her (and her big sister) makes me smile. I admit sometimes it makes me a little teary too, but I do love talking about my sweet babe.
Packing her favorites – I tend to pack special snacks that I know Lola likes and often send along a lovie in her backpack just in case. I used to keep her favorite doll at home but decided the best place for her lovie is by her side (I never know when she might need it). I try to do little things that I hope will give her a bit of comfort or a sense of familiarity.
Dreaming – My return to work didn’t mark the end of my dreams. Instead, they are simply evolving. On the way to and from work, during breaks and sprinkled throughout the day are dreams. Goals and hopes I have for my family, ranging from big things like going on a real family vacation, to small things like visiting a new park and pushing my babies on the swing, or introducing a new bedtime story that evening. I dream of Lola gleefully yelling “Mommy” when I get home. My dreams give me something to work towards and look forward to. They keep me grounded and help me focus on the big picture.
Reflecting – I also reflect on the times we have shared, both recently and what now feels long ago. The giggles, the milestones and the cuddles. And of course I dream of experiencing more moments like those. Reflecting reminds me that our family has gotten through periods of adjustments in the past and we will continue to get through them — together.