It’s 12:50pm on a weekday and I’m extra-relishing the quiet minutes while my three-year-old is in school and the twins are napping. Why? Today is officially my last day of maternity leave before I go back to the working world. So long, walks around the block on a weekday morning. See you later, eating lunch on the floor while shaking a rattle with the babies. Goodbye, my special time with the two of you and hanging out all day.

Goodbye, maternity leave. How I'll miss you so.Before I sound too depressing, I do want to mention that I’m also excited to go back to work. I’ll actually get to wear anything other than yoga pants and flip flops and—gasp!—brush my hair. It’ll be fun seeing coworkers and immersing myself in the office setting. And I won’t have to lug my over-sized double stroller on a daily basis. Yay for going to work!

Still… It’s ironic that babies start to get easier to care for right when you have to go back to work. The twins have now gotten their routine down pat, they take ridiculously long naps three times a day, and they smile and laugh so willingly—total cure for a tiring day.

During my maternity leave, I learned a couple of things:

  • I really can do anything. In the beginning, I never thought I could take care of newborn twins and a three-year-old at the same time, but somehow I did. Sometimes literally for the entire day—from breakfast to bedtime—like when my husband was out of town. Talk about working round the clock.
  • With time so limited (and parents outnumbered!), I became more organized, thinking three steps ahead and running through all the what-ifs. I’m a master lunch-packer and can picture everything the babies need for their bath and bedtimes.
  • I also learned some serious patience, not just with the twins but with my equally attention-deserving preschooler too. I battled with something I never thought I’d have to: controlling my temper, and learned not to take my frustrations out on my kids. Ever.
  • Children’s growth, however inevitable, can sometimes be a parent’s greatest sorrow. Because even though I was out for half the year, I’m still sitting here in disbelief that this could possibly be the last day of my maternity leave. How are my babies already five months old when they were just coming home with us wearing those newborn clothes and sleeping in tiny bassinets? Any time the day starts to feel long because some baby won’t stop crying or my three-year-old had yet another accident, I think about how irrevocable these moments are.

Now here I am yet again, going back to work and saying goodbye to maternity leave and hello to work, possibly for the last time. I don’t know when I’ll ever have several months to stay home with my kids again.

So thank you, maternity leave, for giving me a chance to spend so much time with the kiddos. I’ll miss our outings, our play times, our naps while the babies nap, and walking my son home from preschool. I’ll remember worrying how on earth I’ll ever get through the next few months to finally wondering where they had all just gone.

And of course, thank you to my two babies for making these moments some of the most challenging yet rewarding chapters of my life. I admit, I wasn’t too thrilled when I found out I was having twins, what with pregnancy complications and the challenging newborn days. But now… now I know why they say that twins are a double blessing. To have the both of you, I would go through it all over again, no doubt.

How did you feel when you returned to work and ended maternity leave?

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