I’ve been on a few adventures in my time, I did a stint in Australia in my early twenties which played a huge part in my life but on this day two years ago I began the greatest journey of my life – My maternity leave started and motherhood was looming….
Maybe I’m insane for remembering this date, but it was such a milestone for me to have reached. After working full time throughout my pregnancy when there were day’s I didn’t want to entertain the thought of even leaving my warm bed, but I mustered up the strength and kept going right to the very end. So it felt like a real sense of accomplishment to have completed work life. I was healthy and happy and ready for the next phase. I knew my baby was going to be with me soon but I also knew that the coming two weeks or so would be my last bit of freedom and rest for a long time. But being a first time mother, I didn’t realise how important those few weeks were, until now. I remember waking between 9 and 10am religiously each morning, I would wobble to the kitchen to make breakfast (it was actually my favourite time of day) I sat on the couch watching Jeremy Kyle like my life depended on it and after my fix of food and rubbish TV, I’d get myself ready for the day ahead without a care in the world, well, apart from my humongous baby bump being a nuisance at times! My few weeks of R&R before Olivia arrived were really great. Of course I wanted my baby there and then like any excited new mother would, but I also knew she would come when she was good and ready, so in the meantime I had my own time to do whatever I wanted, before my life changed forever.
There is no carefree rest or alone time anymore. When Olivia isn’t around, like yesterday morning when we woke up after a night out, instead of catching a few more winks, I kept checking the time until she had to be collected from my parents house. Gone are my quick trips to the wheely bins or even taking a shower alone. Now it entails a little toddler traipsing behind me to be a part of these mundane tasks. Nothing is done quickly anymore, I’m late for most appointments and I arrive into work with just a moment to spare.
Those three weeks of maternity leave without my baby are ones I’ll remember fondly. I’ll never get that free time back again. Now it’s a different kind of free time, when she’s not around she’s in the forefront of my mind every second of the day.
So to those expecting a baby I say, embrace your maternity leave ladies, don’t wish the time away, cherish your sleep, (I know sleeping at night may be difficult anyway) so then I’ll say, sleep all day, allow others to help out and do errands for you. Once your baby arrives your life before will be a memory, a memory that sometimes you will find hard to recall, because most of the time we can’t remember life without them in it at all.