Saturday, 2 September 2017

Maternity Leave Part Two: The Realities..

Part two of my maternity leave posts isn't exactly 'The Cons' of maternity leave, it's more the things that people who aren't on/ or have never been on maternity leave don't see or perhaps don't realise.

If you are on or have been on maternity leave before you will probably relate to some of these, if you haven't experienced it then it may make you feel better about getting up for work on Monday morning.

I've listed below a few things that you don't always see or think about when you think of someone being on maternity leave.

Up early, finish late, everyday 

Yes we don't have to get up for work at 6/7am, but we're still up looking after a baby. You finish work at maybe 5pm, and the night is your own. That's Rosie's tea time, then it's bath time, then milk and bed time. Rosie is usually asleep for 7:30-8pm, then its tidy up time, bottles, washing and cook tea. I think I mentioned in another post that I usually sit down for my tea at around 9-9:30pm.

Side note - A couple of weeks ago I went to the pictures with my friend, and it was the first night in around 6 weeks I had been out of my house after 6pm!

You can't call in sick.

It doesn't matter how many times you were up in the night, whether that be down to you being ill or your baby being unsettled, you can't call in sick from being a mum! You have to just get on with it. The days of calling in work sick to then stay in bed and watch Netflix all day are only a distant memory when you have a baby ha!

Cabin Fever

Instagram will very often show you the cosy days in, but for us, they are pretty rare. When I was pregnant I used to think I couldn't wait to have cosy pyjama days watching films all day with my baby. How naive I was! Rosie is 6 months old now, and the novelty soon wears off staying in all day. She gets bored, and very quickly these days. Whether we go for a walk around the park, the retail park, or go and sit in Starbucks, we rarely actually stay in the house. I have a very nosey baby, meaning she wants to be up and out rather than being couped up indoors. I don't mind this at all because I do think it would be easy to get stuck in a rut if you constantly stayed in.

You have to prioritise your 'breaks'

When you're at work and its time for your break, what do you do? Sit and eat your lunch in peace/ with colleagues, scroll Facebook and Asos at your own leisure? Sounds fab. Breaks when you have a baby are as and when they take naps, which varies in consistency and duration everyday. As I've said before, when Rosie sleeps, that's my chance to get ready, maybe have something to eat, pack her bag for the day. The first thought when you get a minute to yourself is what you can get done before they wake up!

 You still have to think about going back to work

We all know what the Sunday blues feel like. Having that feeling of dread before the week ahead is something you don't have on maternity leave, but you do have those thoughts in the back of your mind about going back to work. Will you be as quick/efficient as you used to be? Will you be okay leaving your baby after so much time together? Who will look after your baby whilst you're at work? All these thoughts are on your mind on and off through the last few months of maternity leave, even though you (I) try to block them out.

I absolutely love being on maternity leave but it isn't always coffee dates and picnics! Someone told me last week they were jealous of me being on maternity leave so I hope this post shows a slightly less talked about side to it.

Thanks for reading x

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