Hello everyone, hope you are all well and the Great British summer time weather isn’t getting you down.
My baby girl is almost 10 months old! Eden was born in August 2018 and my maternity leave began at the end of July 2018. Every single day towards the end of my pregnancy I was counting down the days until I could quit work. I had visions of how I would spend my time off. I would take long walks in the park, read more, go for coffee, post daily on my blog, join a baby friendly gym and a Mums and tots group. None of this actually happened! These are a few things I learned whilst on maternity leave..(I started back work February 2019)
Baby takes up your whole entire day!
Yes!! your new bundle of joy will not only take up all the love in your heart but they will also take up every single minute of your day. From the minute they wake in the morning and their little baby eyes gaze into yours they will require your full attention. You feed them, you burp them, change them, you rock them to sleep, they nap for a few hours, in this time you load the washing machine, you fold and put away clothes (mostly theirs), you try to surgically remove the dressing gown that has become like a second layer of skin over the past few weeks and months, you take a 5 minute shower, whilst imagining you hear baby cry. What was once an enjoyable experience becomes a very quick necessity, you then scrape what’s left of your post natal hair into a Mum bun, pull on your clothes and by this time baby has awakened from their slumber and is now trying out their brand new set of lungs by screaming the house down demanding their next feed. Now at this stage of the day you are thinking, what will I have for lunch? Mums DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT enjoy a warm lunch, most times I ate my lunch while baby was on my knee. After lunch the process starts again, a constant cycle of feeding, burping, changing and sleeping. People used to say to me in the early days, sleep when baby sleeps, the first few days I thought, ummmm, makes sense, by the second week of motherhood this statement began to infuriate me! I know for me personally I couldn’t sleep when baby slept, otherwise the other household cores would never have been done! The day passes and before you know it you need to put Daddy’s dinner on the table, tidy up and go to bed! the other activities I thought I might indulge in never happened! You simply don’t have the time. Your time is no longer your own!
You feel lonely
Personally I have always worked, I had part time jobs at school and was one of the lucky ones to walk into full time employment the day after I completed my education, so I have had daily company for over 20 years. To go from having a whole work force to talk to and off load my problems to, to having zero adult conversation is very hard. When you are on maternity leave, none of your friends or family are at home, they are all working, therefore you really have nobody to talk to during the day. On the rare occasions you do have a minute to yourself you find yourself watching the same day time TV programs, bluughhh!! why is daytime TV so draining?
Leaving the house is a massive effort
If by chance you do happen to have somewhere to go, you need to plan ahead. Leaving at least 2 hours to get yourself ready and baby ready and to organise a nappy bag that should contain everything from a change of clothes for baby and for Mummy (Mums get puked on too) to extra nappies. You no longer carry a handbag, your nappy bag quickly becomes your “go to” bag!. I must say if Dad is home, leaving the house is that bit easier because the getting ready part is shared.
Despite all of this, would I change it for the world?? Most definitely not! Having a little human who you and the one you love made and brought into this world, is worth every sleepless night, every second spent caring for them, every tear and every single ounce of labour pain. Motherhood is fecking hard, but it’s the most amazing and rewarding job ever.