A Strange Anniversary, A Farewell to Nursing and my Best Parenting Advice

This week marks the anniversary of my return to work after maternity leave. (Fortunately, on the actual anniversary I was too busy to think about it.) That day last year was so difficult; I cannot look at the pictures of August I took that morning without tearing up. I accomplished nothing that day in the office and I left early to get back home to August. We have come a long way since then. Most noticeable is that I now work from home part-time instead of going into the office. (And Brandon has a totally different job.)

I really like the balance we've been able to strike. I work during naps and a bit on the weekend so that I can be present with August while he is awake. Occasionally I check email while he is up but for the most part, I am able to avoid it. Having to keep track of my hours helps me leave work alone until I have a chunk of free time. Not every day is perfect; too often I forget to mentally "clock out" when August wakes up and I fret about a certain source or phrase or email. With every new stage, this balance will certainly need tweaking. For now, this system works well enough.

This week also marks the official beginning of the end of nursing. The plan is to alternate nights: one night I'll nurse August before bed, the next Brandon will give August a cup of milk as they rock to calm for sleep. I really miss nursing already but know we are all reaching a place where it needs to taper off.

My best parenting advice is this: do what works for your family: you, baby and husband. No one else is living your situation. Child care, nursing, co-sleeping, CIO, cloth diapers... you name it, that is my advice. Different methods work in different circumstances. Working at the office did not work for our family; I am humbled and amazed at the Lord's providence in allowing me to work part-time from home. Nursing until nearly 15 months worked for our family; I am thankful for the relative ease with which we were able to nurse this long. Everything seems to ebb and flow like the tide.

Are you transitioning a phrase in your life? Are you having a hard time letting go? If you know what it is, are you excited or anxious for the next stage?

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