6 weeks sounded like an eternity -- certainly the longest stretch away from work ever -- but now that I only have 2.5 weeks left of leave, it feels like it's been the tiniest sliver of time. Days and nights blend together and I want to pump the brakes, say no, stop, slow down, but of course that doesn't happen. Every few hours I'll think about the saaaaands of tiiiiiiime [doomy voice] and want to crumble in despair.
I love my career, so it's not like I want to stay home forever. I don't. But I would kill for a few more weeks (who am I kidding, a few more months) here, nestled in our house-cocoon together, wiggling her pink toes, smiling as she looks around all big-eyed in the bath, and soaking up her tiny snuffling snores. But that's not the way it works -- definitely not in my particular situation (fairly new on the job, not protected by FMLA, not fully-paid leave). I go back to work in 2.5 weeks, and I'm sure there will be times I'm happy to have something to focus on besides getting her to latch (sure would be nice to get that perfected before I have to switch up our routine...meeting with a LC this Wednesday) but...I'm never going to get another shot at being home with my newborn unencumbered by other responsibilities. This is it. Even as I type this one-handed as she sleeps on my lap, it's slipping away. Snuffled snore by snuffled snore.
As it stands, I'm just going to soak up the hours of snores as much as I can and ignore the giant hourglass in my peripheral vision. I don't mean for this to sound like a long whine. I know I have have more time than some get. I know I will still wiggle her toes and watch her eyes widen in the tub and listen to her snore...that there is so so much yet that we'll do together even if she's not with me during the day, that she'll be with her very smitten grandma and very very loved and cuddled...but inside my little self-bubble it's still a melancholy tale. In this moment it feels like we are the opposite of infinite. In this moment, we are finite. Limited.
I don't want to stay home forever. I don't expect to 'have it all' (a post for another time). But I wish I could have some more time. Just a little more.
2.5 more weeks. I will drink it up as best I can. And sleep while the getting's good.
tl;dr: Dickensian boohoo