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My, how the tables have turned


Although it seems like yesterday, it’s been nearly two years since I was preparing for the arrival of Number 2 in our family. And, along with that, I was handling the anxiety that the situation brought within our office, mostly to the boss man.
How was he going to manage a year without his editor? Never mind that, how was he going to last even the day of delivery? During the time leading up to my last day in office there were plenty of jokes going around about computer setups in the delivery room and the like.
While we had great fun with it, I took it all in with humour and ignored the serious undertones to the jokes. All the while I was thinking, “there’s no way in HELL that’s happening.”
And then, the day finally came (or rather the middle of the night) and what was I doing the next morning as baby slept peacefully and I was wide awake on an adrenaline high? I was checking, forwarding and responding to emails – from my hospital bed. Yup, I knew it was silly but I had NOTHING else to do at that moment. In hindsight, it was the calm before the storm of a new baby entering a household.
Now? Now I find myself on the other end of the situation and it’s not the laughing matter that it was when it was going to be me leaving everyone to pick up the pieces. The reality for me is that I have a reporter leaving me in approximately one month and I am in no way ready for this.
What’s worse is this isn’t just any reporter. Jessica is a speed demon – I cannot give the woman enough work to keep her busy. Who knew that could actually be a problem? And, she happily – well, I like to believe it’s happily – tends to all the little tasks that should probably be my job but I’m thrilled to pass on to her very capable hands.
To put it simply... I’ve been absolutely spoiled since I returned from my own maternity leave and I’m not looking forward to going back. So, to mask my utter despair, I too have resorted to jokes about her working while on maternity leave. I’ve crafted whole plans where I’m going to set her up with a home computer capable of connecting to her work computer and email her lists of weekly tasks that she can do in between diaper changes and feedings. Because, what better things could a first time mom have to do?
While I’m saying these things jokingly to her, I’m trying very hard to hide the serious undertones that are coming through. But, I know I’m failing as she’s giving me the same humouring look that I’m sure was on my face all those months ago. I can almost see the words, “there’s no way in HECK that’s happening” (because she has a much cleaner vocabulary than I do) flashing past her eyes.
Although, I have to say, I’m very proud that I haven’t tried to sell her the computer in the delivery room scenario yet. Give me time though, there’s still a few weeks yet and I’m bound to get there.
I am comforted by one thought. For all the extra work that will be added to my plate I get to go home at the end of the day to the relative peace of my family. It’s not so much the case for my other reporter Jeremy. You see, he just happens to be Jessica’s husband. So, not only has he added to his workload at the office, he’s also done so at home. And, I’m just mean enough to find great humour in this.