A Beautiful Summer

Having a May baby was just the best.

It gave us the opportunity to have a great summer with our family complete.

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Having maternity leave these last few months was wonderful. It was really the best time for me to heal and bond with our family.

Working in higher education means that I do not get the summers off from my job, even though most of my students believe that I do. This was a once in a lifetime gift that I was able to be home during these summer months.

Obviously, this was time meant to figure out Daphne and how she fit into our family unit and bond now as a family of four, But, my goal was to also use this time with my family to do things we don’t normally get to do due to my work schedule.

We were able to enjoy the weather more fully because there was flexibility. By getting out of the house and enjoying nature every day, I really felt more like myself much faster than I did with George. I didn’t feel confined to the house, which I think made everyone happier. I also realized that taking a newborn out is so much easier than when they get older, so I was getting her out as much as I could. Daphne and I explored almost every trail in the Columbia area. This was such a beautiful thing for my healing process as well. It gave me an outlet to just be and take my time enjoying the outdoors with my little girl. It’s not very often that we get to slow down and just take things in. It was my goal to go for a walk every day that the weather was nice. This time was so special for me. The exercise was an added bonus. We have played outside almost every day after dinner which is something we don’t always do because I am trying to keep up on the schedule of lights out by 8. Like I said, everyone was a little happier with all the outside time.

We were able to go to events in town that I would otherwise say no to because I cherish our down time at home or I didn’t want to rush from work to get some place. I also didn’t feel guilty going to things on Saturdays because we had other days in the week to relax and get house stuff done.

We did little things like going to a magic show at the library down the road from our house. We also went to a butterfly exhibit at the nature center. These are often during work hours, so I have never been able to go to programming like this with the kids.

Tom and I had day dates and spent more time together and with family than we have in years. It was great for us to connect this way so we can continue to try to be the best team for these kids and each other.

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We took George to see his first movie (Cars 3 obviously) in the middle of a weekday afternoon.

I didn’t feel so harried about a trip to the St. Louis Zoo or Sea Life Kansas City because I knew I had time to recoup from these day trips.

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I was able to read a lot of books. I got out my big camera more. I slept in until 8 some days.

I was able to get in a lot of doctor’s appointments in without worrying about juggling other meetings or trying to figure out the commute. I could schedule it at whatever time without any guilt. You may not understand how freeing this is, but this is one of my favorite parts of this summer.

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It may sound silly, but recouping from this pregnancy has been the most relaxing thing I have done in a long time. And I attribute a lot of it to being summer. I love this time of year, so it was great to be at home for it to focus on family memories.

I didn’t feel rushed or felt myself counting down minutes. Being on maternity leave during the summer let me just live in the moment and enjoy it so much more.

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George is at such a fun age, so being able to see more of his world was so wonderful. And having this intentional time to focus on my kids and their development was what made this summer a dream. Watching them grow is magical.

While we didn’t plan this pregnancy timing, having Daphne in the early summer was spot on what I needed. It’s a more calm time of the year for my job responsibilities, so I didn’t feel worried about work at all. And here I am going back 3 weeks before classes begin, which is just perfect. If Daphne would have come on her due date, I would have started back at work the first day of classes. Yikes.

It is going to be hard to say goodbye to this summer and my time home with my family. (While I have been really relaxed for the most part, I did have an anxiety attack yesterday wondering how I am going to manage going back to work and keeping up with stuff at home.)

I am going to cherish these moments we had. What a beautiful summer.

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PS. My sink was still always full of dirty dishes so it wasn’t completely perfect. But I will take the outings and mostly relaxed afternoons over a clean sink any day.

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