Friday, October 18, 2019

On Maternity Leave

I would like to start by asking these people who say 'the days are long but the years are short' if I could please please have some of the time from their long days, because holy heck could I use about 12 more hours a day! These days are FLYING BY, which is terrifying!

Which brings me to maternity leave, another strange beast I have been wrapping my mind around since having the baby. To most people the concept is probably pretty clear. Have baby, recover, get the hang of how to keep baby alive... go back to work. But it feels SO much more complicated to me.

Most our afternoons are spent like this.
First off yes, I get that the whole point is to bond with the baby, and yes I do spend hours every day just laying on the couch with her on my chest talking, singing, coo-ing with her. Along with changing 10 diapers a day, being a human cafeteria, tackling the daily laundry (yes, from just one small human but I blame cloth diapers) all of which adds up to the majority of the hours in the day.

BUT first off I feel SO freaking lazy just laying on the couch with a baby on my chest when I know my co-workers are in the trenches teaching the kiddos how to solve multi step inequalities. Yes yes, I know I am doing 'work' by engaging and bonding' with the baby, but it doesn't feel like work, it feels like the weekend every single day! And I think this idea is compounded by the fact that I went to all of ONE day of work after 3 months of summer before going on leave so I feel like I haven't worked in years. I know I shouldn't feel guilty, and that teaching algebra shouldn't be on my mind right now, I just can't help it, so yeah.

no. more. bump :(
Second I realize that part of maternity leave is to learn how to function as a new family unit of 3, and part of that means learning how to take care of myself with the demands of a screaming newborn ever present. But it feels SO DANG STRANGE to go lap swimming at 8am on a Thursday while again I know the rest of the productive world is at work. This is another point where our unique situation makes things different than normal because Brendan is working from home part time, so I can leave him with Baby A for a few hours to go work out on any given day. Don't get me wrong, I secretly love it, is this what it feels like to be crazy wealthy and not have to work??? but it also feels strange.

All I could get done during one nap, but hey, it's
more than nothing!!! 
And the other weird part of this period of 3 months where I am staying home from work is that we have a TON of construction/work we still need to do on the house and I face this constant battle about it in my mind. I KNOW resting and all that jazz is what I'm supposed to be doing, but I have these 2 hour chunks of free time when the baby naps and suddenly it seems like I need to be tiling the kitchen backslash! I do realize that I was born with an extra serving of ambition, and that I need to work on calming down and resting, but this free time seems like such a great opportunity to get all this work done! And resting feels like such a waste of time haha. But really it's a struggle, a HUGE struggle for me to nap and to understand that napping is actually the healthiest thing I can be doing. It's especially hard when the weather in SoCal in fall is out of control beautiful and there is also a huge part of me that wants to be outside moving my body every free second. So yeah, I am fighting a battle every second of the day between wanting to work, work out, and knowing I should be resting.

Balance, life is all about finding balance and I think this will always be a struggle for me. The things I'm trying to juggle will change, but understanding what's important and budgeting my time appropriately will always be something I am working on.

The good news is that I am more and more in love with this nugget every day. And although I felt odd installing a car seat and washing baby clothes before Addy was born, somehow being a mother feels so dang natural. Like doing the laundry, getting spit up on, changing diapers... it all feels so magically perfect. I may not be going on 8 hour adventure rides with Carl every weekend this fall but I am somehow blissfully happy doing the same thing every day because I get to stare at this perfect face. It feels like a dream that suddenly we have a baby, and I will never take a second of this miracle for granted.
Also we do stuff like decorate for holidays now, haha. Being a parent is rad so far :)

PS. This was written one handed because baby A is resting in my left arm. Gotta keep this bean as close to me as I can until I go back to work.

1 comment:

  1. You are definitely related to Mom! She can't sit still either!!
    Yes, balance is important. But, I feel like if you are struggling with not doing anything during the day then maybe you should give in and be productive. (BUT only a little!) The mom guilt will NEVER go away. You're feeling guilty if you work on a project because you should be snuggling, but then you feel guilty for snuggling because you need to do laundry, and if you do laundry you feel guilty for neglecting some other mundane aspect of your life.
    Girl, you just do what you can and try not to lose your mind in the process!