July 2008. It was great to see him with Libby and it made me extra grateful that despite him and my mom getting divorced when I was just six months old, he's always been present in my life. He moved to Alaska after their separation and has been there ever since...almost 35 years now. Growing up in San Francisco and spending my summers in Alaska brings back great memories. I really had the best of both worlds. And despite never living in my father's home (except for one year when I was three and my mom needed to get herself together) I have always felt very close to him. I cherish that. And hope that Libby will be close with him too, despite our geographical distance. I want to get a webcam so we can have regular video chats via Skype. It's on my to-do list. Especially since the majority of our loved ones live West of the Rockies.
Adding to my sadness is the fact that my maternity leave officially ends today. Tomorrow, I am back to work, eight hours a day, five days a week. As much as I love my job, I love Libby a million times more! And I cannot help but feel guilty that I'll be missing out on her life 40+ hours each week. If only I could get paid to love her! I am grateful to have had this time home with her. Just one week over her three month mark. I cannot imagine how the poor mommies who have to leave their babies at just six or eight weeks old do it. I'd be a wreck! Well, I am already and Libby is twice the age of most babies that are left behind when mom goes back to work. I am extremely lucky that I live close enough to my office that I can go home for lunch and nurse her. And when she's not with me she'll be with her daddy and/or grandmother.
Speaking of which, my Mom was supposed to arrive home today after 10 days of visiting family (she planned her trip to perfectly coincide with my Dad's visit here so he wouldn't need to stay in a hotel). We headed to the airport and were even about 10 minutes late and there's was no sight of her. I called her cell, twice. Texted. No replies. I started to panic a bit. I went to the ticket counter and asked the customer service rep to pull her name up on the computer system to verify that she had made her connection out of DFW. Not only had she not been on that flight, she never made her first flight of the day. Now I am really panicked. Heart racing, I dialed my Brother in California to see if he'd heard any news. Nothing. We drove home to get my Aunt's number (where my mom had been visiting) and the entire way my mind reeled with every worst-case scenario that could have prevented her from making her flight (I'll chalk this up to watching too many episodes of Law and Order and Cold Case Files while Dad was here). We get home and I called my Auntie. She could tell by the tone of my voice that I was worried. I hear my Mom giggle in the background and then start saying "oh no! oh no!" Turns out she was a day behind herself and completely missed her flights because she thought she was scheduled to leave tomorrow! Whew. I guess vacationing in paradise can do that to a person. Thankfully, she was able to rebook her flights for tomorrow. I can laugh about it now, but seriously, for about an hour today I was in a total panic and thought my mom might be dead in a ditch somewhere!
And so was my last day on maternity leave. I was tearful...sad to say goodbye to my Dad and emotional about all the "little" things I'll be missing out on with Libby as I head to the office each day. I never really thought I'd like to be a stay-at-home-mom, I love my job and enjoy the people at work. But I could see myself doing really well as a SAHM. It's just not possible though since I am the main income earner these days. Which leads to me another thought...why is that in the majority of Baby and Parenting magazines I keep reading these articles about how mothers should "re-asses" to see if they really need to return to work with advice like "rework your budget and see if it doesn't make better financial sense to quit your job than to return..." Um, what are we, in the 1950's? It's not like most mothers are working so they can just have some "fun money" or extra funds to buy a new dress. Most mothers I know, at least, work because they have to in order to pay the bills, the mortgage and put food on the table. Most of my female friends who work and have kids are the primary income earner for their family (married or not)...it really irks me to see these articles published every month in these parents' magazines. It's not in touch with reality at all. Well neither is wearing 4-inch heels, that cost more than my monthly grocery bill, to the playground for a playdate, but I digress.