On the end of maternity leave…

I’m going back to work Thursday, July 5th after twelve weeks of maternity leave. Over the last few days I’ve felt every stage of grief. On Monday and Tuesday I called my mom sobbing with mom guilt. I thought about asking my boss whether I could take off Fridays, or work from home on Thursdays. Then, yesterday, I was so burned out I felt like I could start working at 8am and feel 100% okay.

This leave is coming to an end. It’s been wonderful, and stressful, and full of life. There has been poop, pee, spit-up, giggles and glorious snuggles. As I move back into working I thought it would be cathartic to write about what I will miss and what is coming next. When I volunteered at hospice (yes – tragic) they taught us to always say good-bye when we left a room. Although no one is dying, we are moving from the “mommy is always with me” stage to the “daycare time!” stage.

This blog is dedicated to saying good-bye to old things, and saying hello to new things.

Good-bye 24/7 Carly time. Without a doubt, I will miss our snuggles, naps, and cute poops. Carly – I love you so!

Hello 30 minutes of eating lunch!

Good-bye 8+ times a day breastfeeding. Although, I will miss Carly’s constant warmth and sweet suckling sounds. However – we still have mornings and nights.

Hello to (some) body freedom!

Good-bye raw fingers from Desitin applications, wiping, and “I seriously JUST changed you.”

Hello to missing changing diapers three times in a row. Carly’s chunky baby butt is just the cutest!

Good-bye to morning stroller walks. I’ll miss these the most. Watching Carly’s sweet face as we walk around our neighborhood is the best.

Hello adult conversation! My how I’ve missed you. Vocab, words, thoughts, oh my!

Good-bye seeing everything new Carly does. Another person will see it first, and that breaks my heart.

Hello mental challenges… my my how I love thee. Coordination. Formuli. Brain gymnastics – my sweet love.

Good-bye knowing Carly is unlikely to get sick at home with mommy.

Hello colds, ear infections, and a slew of weird S#$& from daycare. But also hello to an immune system that is learning to survive. This will suck, but we can do this. Kids get sick. A lot.

Good-bye safety of mommy’s perfect schedule (Ug). We worked so hard on this. Carly is sleeping well and growing so big. Pray we adapt well.

Hello socialization. Carly is going to get to meet so many people! She’s in a safe place with people who dedicate their lives to loving children. Hello to meeting more little friends we can hang out with. We’re going to learn so much from each other.

Good-bye taking a gazillion photos a day. Now it’ll just be a few hundred.

Hello to getting photos every day from daycare. I hope they take good pictures!

Good-bye mommy guilt over…. everything. Hello new mommy guilt over…. who knows? If the FDA makes a drug for mommy guilt I’ll line up to buy it.

Hello to a new trust. Trust in daycare. Trust in daddy. Trust in myself. Trust in God that we’ll all be ok. It’ll be ok. It’ll be ok.

Good-bye to whatever I’ve forgotten to mention.

Hello to those things I can never see or imagine.

Good-bye maternity leave. Hello career and daycare. I am so thankful for this leave, what I’ve learned, and my time with Carly. May we greet what is next with grace, endurance, love, and humor.

How I survived suicide…

I’ve tried to kill myself twice. Thankfully, I failed.

Suicide has been in the news twice in the last week. Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain are two talented people gone when the world wanted more time with them.

My brother posted this article. It inspired me to talk about life after suicide attempts.

Don’t kill yourself. When you die more people are sad then you will ever know. Live for yourself. Live for your children, your friends, and those silly third party people we friend on LinkedIn. Death is forever.

It took me thirty years to find happiness on this earth. I’m melancholy by nature and went through some tough stuff as a child. Trauma shapes you by forcing your body to believe things will always be bad. You have a small stressor and your cortisol levels shoot through the roof. Emotions hurt mentally and physically. A trigger sets off a large ripple. Anxiety kicks in and you think the pain will never get better. Death seems better than the pain, but trust me – it isn’t.

I’m here to let you know that I found the light. It takes work to get here but it is real. I haven’t had a depression episode in three years. I am – actually – deeply happy.

More than that, I no longer worry about depression overcoming me. I see that I am surrounded by people that love me and would do anything for me.

People. People will get you though. People are how you survive suicide attempts. There are light in the dark and Jesus in a fallen world. Rely on people. Trust in people. Tell people you need them, because they need you too. The secret of life is that we need to live for others. Culture may tell us to live for ourselves, but it’s living for our loved ones that make everything worth it.

Depression does not have to be forever. There is more beyond this short time of sadness. There is so much to live for. If I had succeeded in my attempts I’d never have known the love of my husband, or have gotten to hold my perfect daughter the moment she was born. I would have missed morning walks, mango sorbet, and Lake Michigan in summer.

Lift yourself up. Dust off the broken bits. You can do this. I did. There is so much to live for.