To make a long story short, the sixty days of leave I had planned on taking (the same sixty days I've taken with the birth of each of my previous children) wasn't exactly an option for me this time around. In fact, because I had taken so much leave with Emmy (not knowing I was going to be pregnant again a few short months later), I didn't even have half of the sixty days at my disposal. Not even half.
My magic number was 27. Twenty-seven days to spend with my sweet, helpless newborn baby boy.
I immediately freaked out. And then I started planning. Because I was having a c-section, my doctor's office wrote that I would need to be out of work for 8 weeks to recover, so I began to wrap my brain around that number and eventually re-adjusted my "maternity leave survival plan." And just so we're clear: I'm not a lazy planner. My survival plan included childcare and a six-month budget and pay schedules and extracurricular activities and dinner menus and anything else you can think of that a pregnant, neurotic, extremely scheduled, thirty-two year-old woman could possibly imagine.
I love to plan.
And then I found out that staying home for eight weeks wasn't an option, either. March 13th was going to be my return-to-work to date.
And I worried. Here's the list of things I worried about:
-Leaving my baby. I know people leave six-week-old babies all the time; I've just never had to do it. I couldn't imagine what it would be like to leave a tiny, helpless, not-even-vaccinated baby, even with my absolutely phenomenal childcare provider.
-Sleep. My babies have always been sleeping through the night before my return to work. And by sleeping through the night, I mean ALL. NIGHT. LONG. None of this six-hour-stretch business. How was I going to function without a full night's sleep? How would I have enough energy (and sanity) to work all day and be an effective parent to my FOUR kids?!?!?!?!?!
-Schedule. Well, mostly pumping. I didn't want to have to go back to work and pump 3-4 times a day. Mostly because that would be annoying.
-Clothes. What on earth would I wear?!?!? There was no way I was going to be back in my regular clothes that quickly after my fourth c-section. And besides, I didn't want to go back to work feeling grossly unattractive. Just being honest.
-Money. I had my entire budget worked out...I'm talking all the way through August. Now, even though I would be going back to my paycheck sooner, I was going to have to pay for a lot more childcare (MAJOR expense), which meant I'd need to rearrange quite a bit of our income allocation. I wasn't going to be paid for any of my leave time AND Ben took a new job about a month after Thatch was born. Even though his new job is awesome and pays a little bit more, I stressed over trying to figure out his new pay schedule. I didn't want to get stuck without the cash needed to pay our bills! I also (more than) stressed over the increase in benefit costs for our family. And then I mega-stressed when I realized we would have to pay for COBRA insurance for a month! I went back and re-worked our entire budget.
And then today, it hit me.
I think planning is good. I'm learning that worrying is pointless.
Thatcher is two months old. I'm back at work. He is a healthy, happy, chunky, roly poly, fat boy of a baby who is nursing every four hours during the day (the perfect pumping schedule!) and sleeping a solid 9-10 hours at night. His adjustment at Ginnell's (my childcare provider) has, hands down, been the best of all his siblings.
I can button my pants. Not every pair in my closet, but more than enough to wear to work.
And today I realized that we have all the money we need, in our checking account, on March 22, to pay for every single expense we have in April. That has never, ever, ever happened before.
22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life[b]? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendorwas dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Luke 12:22-31
I'm going to stop worrying and start seeking.
Thank You, Jesus.