I know it may sound cliche, but time is a very valuable thing. One of the hardest things I had to learn to deal with as a new parent is working as a full-time mom. You see, Jeremy and I have a "reversal" of roles in our relationship. He is a stay-at-home dad while I am the prized cash cow.
I love my job, don't get me wrong, but the first six weeks I had off for maternity leave were the absolute hardest. I didn't really know what I was doing, emotions were flying off the charts, we were traveling back and forth from Somerset to Lewistown to visit family - and I missed my job terribly.
To be honest, the first six weeks were a blur, yet those first few weeks have been the most amount of time I have spent with my daughter to date. Oh, the woes of parenthood.
As Emma officially turns four months on Tuesday, Jeremy and I have noticed some of her developmental milestones she has accomplished at such a tender age.
For instance, I work 3 to 11 p.m. at The Sentinel. Well, I guess you could say Emma works the same schedule with Dad at home, too.
She dictates what TV shows he will watch, "No! I don't want to watch Sponge Bob, I want to watch Yo Gabba Gabba!" This is, of course, all in baby talk. She sits in her swing and babbles to her toys, drinks milk all day long and is a toothless wonder.
Jeremy said she is "big drama queen." I tend to disagree, but Jeremy is with her all day long. I just speculate Emma takes after her father.
And yes, I have to admit, I am very envious of all the time that Jeremy gets to spend with Emma. What mother wouldn't be just a tad jealous? But in the same token, I am very thankful that our daughter can stay at home with one of her parents while the other is working - even if the roles are reversed.
Every night, when I come home - it may be 11 p.m., 11:30 p.m. or midnight - Emma is always there waiting up for me. When I walk in the door to my house, my dogs emphatically greet me and Jeremy is on the couch with Emma-pie, as I nicknamed her, on his lap and slowly drifting into sleep.
Yet when I walk over to her to kiss her on the forehead, she wakes up with a big smile on her face - as if she knew I was coming home the entire time.
Sometimes after a long hard day at work, I just want to go home and crash. Yet when I walk in the door, I am greeted by her smile and it lightens my soul. I simply forget about my entire day.
I am reminded not to be envious but to be thankful for the special moments that I share with Emma each night. For the times we share together are ours, and nothing can change that.
Sentinel reporter Tara Maguire can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.