If you haven’t gone on maternity leave yet, or are in the midst of it, enjoy it while you can. You will never have this kind of time with your kids after you return to work. Maternity leave is an amazing time for you and your new bundle of joy, but to be honest, life after maternity leave sucks.
I like to think that I was pretty lucky. My daughter’s original due date was January 25, 2015. I knew I would be able to take at least 6 weeks off of work for maternity leave but I decided on eight. And fate decided I needed more than that for maternity leave.
The company I work for is wonderful and we are fortunate enough to be able to close every year between Christmas and New Years. The last day of work for the year, we have a Christmas party where we all get dressed up, have too much great food and enjoy some time off together. That was my last day of work in 2014.
Not that I knew it at the time.
I started to develop some issues with my pregnancy. High blood pressure and what they thought was developing preeclampsia. So before I returned to work in 2015, my doctor said no. That I was to “rest” until I delivered.
He defined “rest” as no strenuous physical activity, and no shopping.
No shopping? I’m a soon-to-be first time mom! And you’re telling me NOT to shop?
So we compromised. I could shop online. Fine, done deal.
I was induced and gave birth to my daughter on January 14, 2015. My last day of work before having her was December 19, 2014 and my first day back to work after maternity leave was March 13, 2015. I was off almost a quarter of the year.
And I wish that all of that time had been spent with my daughter.
Looking back now that I’ve been working again for almost two months. It just isn’t enough time. I want to see all of her firsts. I want to be there whenever she needs me.
Don’t get me wrong, I can’t afford not to work, and we’ve found the most wonderful babysitter. But I still want to be there.
And it’s great to get out of the house. Maybe this makes me a bad mother for saying it, but it’s nice to go to work and have conversations that don’t revolve around poop and feedings and when someone actually responds to what you say in words you can understand. (Not just random coo’s and such)
But I feel spread so thin. I’m a mom now, and an employee, a fiance, a daughter, sister and so much more. The list of things I am and things I need to accomplish daily/weekly/monthly/yearly keeps growing but there is still only one of me.
I think sometimes that if I could afford the luxury to not work that maybe I’d get it all done. Maybe I’d feel like I was better at all of those roles. Rather than just feeling like I’m being all of them enough to get by.
Even with all of that, first and foremost I’m a mother. She comes first, no matter what. Life after maternity leave sucks because there isn’t enough time to do and be all of the things I want to. But I’m told it will get better. I hope it does soon.