Sunday, 24 May 2015

Maternity Leave: Coming to an end



This week has been bittersweet, it marks the end of my maternity leave.
Nine months have came and went- so fast, that honestly I haven't seen them passing by.
Ok, maybe I have, but  a part of me hasn't wanted to acknowledge it, I'm so happy at home with my baby, and it's left  me feeling slightly uneasy that things are changing.
Just as I'm (almost) getting used to this housewife malarkey, I have to stick on a uniform and go back to work.

OK, so it's only part time, a few hours in the evening (and it means I don't have to make dinner for two nights of the week- Woooohoooo.)

But nevertheless, I feel as though a chapter in this book has been closed shut.
It marks the end of my time being pregnant and getting to know my newborn baby.
Every day I see little E losing more of her little baby features and slowly but surely morph into a little tot. Where's Bernard's Watch when you need it, eh?
I am the most nostalgic of people, and looking back through pictures, cards and messages, I can honestly say it has been the best year and a half of our lives.
Nothing, absolutely nothing could have prepared us for this chapter of our lives
A journey that has been filled with smiles, tears by the bucketload, laughter, uncertainty, frustration and sheer happiness.
It has taught us so much and made us re-evaluate almost everything in life.
It has been change after change after change, we've experienced the very best and worst of times and we've came to the conclusion that we're far stronger together than we are apart.
Now it's time to settle down into a proper routine and get back to some sense of normality,converse with adults on topics other than teething and sleeping routines, and more importantly ,leave the house on my own and learn how to walk again without a pram.
Honestly, what am I meant to do with my hands?.. am I walking weird?.. I need something to hold.

Thank you for a wonderful nine months, maternity leave.
We had some great times together.


                    Things I've learnt during Maternity Leave:

-Invest in the comfiest of loungewear.
-Embrace wearing pjammas all day long, You'll never have another chance to get away with it.
-The house can wait. It really can, enjoy the time being cocooned up with your baby.
-It will feel so incredibly amazing to fit back into your old clothes after recycling the same three maternity outfits. You'll feel like Carrie Bradshaw for the best part of a week....
-Although you'll wish that all jeans came with a stretchy waistband.
-Accept the fact that your body will not automatically bounce back days after birth. Give your body time to adjust to all the changes it's been through. And talking from experience, those stretch marks that you think will never fade, do. Give your body a break, give it some time.
-Take pictures, capture precious moments, fill the baby books! It's unbelievable how quickly babies grow and develop you'll not remember your little one ever being that small. It's always lovely to have photographs to look back on.
-Accept help - You'll be a better mum when you're feeling on top of things! Even a quick shower while Granny's nursing the baby downstairs can make you feel a million times better. 
-Don't feel guilty  for spending the night away from your baby, no doubt they are being absolutely showered with kisses and cuddles by your loved ones so you have no absolutely no reason to worry! 
-Accept the fact you are going to have some seriously shit days, days when nothing seems to go right and all sense of routine goes out the window. 
Deep breaths. Tomorrow is a new day.
-When you're at breaking point from lack of sleep, remember it does get easier. Your body will adjust.
-Treat yourself to some new clothes. It's most likely been a while.
-If you have any doubts, don't be afraid to contact your health visitor/doctor. Don't let anyone make you feel melodramatic. You know your baby best. Stay off Google
-Make plans, try and get out of the house for a little while every day- even if it's just a trip to the shop for a galaxy bar for a cup of tea.
-But don't beat yourself up if you don't make it out of the house, sometimes a pjamma day is just what you and little one will need to rest and recharge your batteries. (Just keep kids tv to a minimum or you're brain will quite literally turn to mush)
-Talk to other mums who will be able to relate to everything you're going through.. they make perfect bitching partners. 
-If you aren't in contact with other mums there are plenty of forums online (such as Netmums) which contains hundreds of chat topics you can join in on. Ask anything under the sun and someone out there is bound to reply, remember you are not alone. The questions I asked during Eva's first week on reflection make me cringe but hey,they don't come with a manual. There is no question too stupid to ask..
-It really is a 24/7 job. One you don't get to grab your coat and leave from on a Friday afternoon,  so rest whenever you can. Eva is nearly eight months old and I'm starting to nap when she does (I know, I know. I wanted to physically attack anyone who told me to 'Sleep when baby sleeps!' at the beginning. but when you're that tired, you just do what you have to do.
-Keep in contact with old friends, go for drinks on a Tuesday night.. when was the last time you were able to do this during the working week?
--Savour the time you have with your baby! There's times our routine can feel a little mundane but I remind myself that these moments are fleeting. There will a time in the future when she'll not want to snuggle up in bed with me, or be with me every waking moment. Maternity leave is over in a flash! Take a pause, savour the kisses and cuddles and remember during those often draining 3am nightfeeds that one day you might look back and (quite possibly) miss them!.



















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6 comments

  1. Great post, I never managed to get back to work after maternity leave but it sounds like you will have a good work/life balance :) I love the things that you have learnt during your mat leave, I couldn't agree more!

    Such beautiful photos too :) x

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    1. Thank you so much :) I can completely understand why some women never make it back.
      I think i'll give it a month or two and weigh out my options but at the minute it suits as little one is heading to bed when i'm heading out, It makes me sad though that I'm missing out on the bath and bed routine!
      I'm glad you could relate to it! xxx

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  2. I go back to work the end of November. I love being on maternity leave and really don't want to go back! You made me giggle saying what are you going to do with your hands. That's so true! It seems like madness not pushing a pram! Haha! Good luck back in work!! :) xx

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    1. I know the feeling well! Make the very most of it.. it comes around far too quickly, doesn't it?!
      Haha! Honestly I'm a walking nightmare without a pram or a baby bag! what did we do before them?!
      xxx

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  3. I love this blog, I'm exactly at this point, looking for a job and it's looking like it might have to be full time for a while. I've struggled big time, I loved it but it can be lonely as hell, reading all the amazing things about it has nearly made me cry haha. Just what I needed after being woken up at 4 I'd forgotten about the good parts! I'll continue reading and following xxx

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for reading!
      I really hope you find work soon :) It's such a pain, isn't it? but something will come along at the right time.
      I also struggled big time, the majority has been great but I'm right there with you, it can be extremely lonely! As much as I didn't really want to go back, I've really enjoyed the conversation in work and being able to switch off for a few hours! xxx

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