I remember worrying about what I was going to do with all those days. Seven whole months. Well, eight including the full month that I sat on my arse watching Netflix and repeatedly Googling ‘How to start your labour’, whilst I impatiently awaited her arrival. I worried about how I wouldn’t be able to switch off from work and be a good mama. It’s hilarious really. (Although, I did take a few weeks to back off and stop checking work emails.)
Seven months does seem like such a long time yet it’s gone by in a flash. Singing classes, a sea of shitsplosions, long lunches, baby groups, doing the conga on the lawn of the local town council building to celebrate the Hungry Caterpillars 51st Birthday, awkward coffee mornings forcing conversations with people because you both have babies, crazy health visitors, clusterfeeding, Walking Dead marathons, all the chocolate, all the cake, all the coffee, sleepless nights, napless days, loading the washing machine five times a day, spa breaks to Bath with Daddy, playing in the paddling pool (and trying to stop her eating the pebbles in the garden) and eventually making proper lovely mummy friends.
I know some people go on about not wanting to ‘waste’ their maternity leave (I know I had big plans) but the days we lazed around in our Pjs, laughing, cuddling, feeding, reading books, telling stories, introducing her to some of the classics (i.e Clueless and Beetlejuice obvs), well, those days have been some of the best of my life so far.
It hasn’t all been easy. I started this blog because I felt like my brain was turning to mush and as someone who didn’t have a ready-made support network, at times it has been unbelievably lonely. But, we got there in the end and now I have a handful of lovely mama friends.
“How do you feel about going back to work” about a hundred people have asked. Well, if I’m honest, I haven’t worried about it. I can’t afford to be. I have to work. Financially and for my own personal sanity.
My daughter is going to be spoilt rotten by her grandparents and I have absolutely no doubt she will thrive at nursery because she’s a nosy little Parker who’s into EVERYTHING. No doubt she’s had enough of me anyway and fancies a bit of a change of scenery.
As someone who is lucky to be able to cut down my hours (38 down to 30 over three and half days), I feel like I am very much getting the best of both worlds. Whether it feels like that in reality, I’m not sure but for now I have to stay positive and think about how lucky I am to have that opportunity in the first place when many mamas do not.
So, Goodbye maternity leave. It’s unexpectedly been the best seven months of my life.