This is it. The last day of my maternity leave coming to a close. I’ve just put you to bed and I can already feel the anxiety building at the thought of having to leave you in the morning. I’m only doing a five hour shift and then I have a little break until Sunday as I wanted to ease myself in slowly but still I’m worrying. I’m sure if you could talk you’d tell me to stop being silly, that you will be fine as Daddy will be home to have lots of fun with, and of course you would be right. Clever little girl. But I have to tell you this Lyra, as long as I’m breathing I’ll always worry about you. I can’t help it so you should probably get used to it now.
It’s been a little while since I wrote to you in one of these letters but I wanted to explain to you why I’m going back to work tomorrow. I don’t want you to think that I wouldn’t rather be at home with you, playing with all of your new toys and going for walks in the chilly weather, because I really would. I have enjoyed every second of the past eight and a half months that we’ve spent at home together and nothing would please me more than to continue to do it for another eight months but I’m going back to work.
Now, the first reason is (of course) money. I don’t want you to ever think for a second that money is the be all and end all but I can’t lie to you and say that it wasn’t a factor in my decision to return. To be honest money made the decision to return more difficult as we could probably get by financially without me working but I wanted to do more than just get by. I want to be able to afford those little luxuries: spoiling you for your first birthday, summer adventures and tickets to visit your grandparent’s new house in Spain in the summer. These things wouldn’t be able to happen without me returning to work and contributing financially.
An unexpected benefit of me working is the quality time you’ll get with family. You’ll spend the weekends with Daddy, getting up to mischief no doubt, and I can’t wait to see how your bond deepens even more when you have time alone with him. I know I can be guilty of taking over a little so I can’t wait to hear about all of the fun times you have together on your own. On Mondays you’ll mostly be with one of your Grandmas and I know you’re going to love that. I have such a close relationship with my Grandma and it’s important to me that you have the same and although they may live a bit further away I think this is the perfect way to cultivate it. You are so lucky to have such wonderful people who love you in your life and I think one of the greatest gifts I can give you is time with them.
So you see little Lyra, there are some lovely benefits to me returning to work. It’s only three days a week and it won’t be forever, you won’t even remember it. You are going to have the best time and I am going to miss you like crazy. For even when we are apart, I am right there beside you in spirit. I think I may be trying to convince myself more than you. I am so nervous, it’s been so long since I’ve been out and about on my own, talking to other adults about things that don’t involve babies or their bodily functions! This is yet another reason why I have to go back. I have to push myself out of my comfort zone, I have to take risks and continue growing as a person because you deserve that and so do I.
I love you sweetheart,
Very Much So xx