Maternity leave is usually thought of as a happy time, but for some mums-to-be and new mums it can be a little bit lonely. Our bump, birthing and baby expert Jackie Heffer-Cooke discusses the issue….
Am I really going on maternity leave…?
Hurray! Um, but what now..? We’re all different in the way we respond to leaving work to go on maternity leave. Some of us who have been slogging our guts out for 10 years or so in the rat-race of life are more than ready to jump off for a while. Some of us find it more difficult to leave our dedicated careers behind, because our identities are so entwined in what we do. We may feel proud to the very core of what we have achieved. We may love the after office bar banter, the importance of meetings, the feeling of contribution towards an end product of something, whether it is re-homing of a pet or selling protective insurance to someone who needs it. We can see our success, it is obvious, and we get rewarded for it.
These same achievements and rewards may not always be so obvious when you are at home every day with a 7 month old who still won’t sleep through the night. Sure you feel joy with every laugh, and snuggle, and milestone, but in the quiet times in between the house can feel lonely and full of domestic chores. And your clothes and hair, well they are not quite what they used to be.
But seriously, focus on the freedom!
Looking at the positives though, the upside of this is ultimately freedom. The waving hubby off on a Monday morning, whilst you’re snuggled up doing a morning feed, or fixing a breakfast, pondering to each other, what shall we do today! The world is yours, it’s your big fat tasty oyster. Think back to how you really felt on a Monday morning dragging yourself in to a stressful meeting or reading endless emails. Now? Well, shall we go to the park with our buddies? Lunch somewhere nice? Maybe we should walk along Cromer promenade or check in with some monkeys at the zoo? Make the most of it as one day this beautiful, colourful, dynamic, daily painting of this chapter of life will be over. They will go to school!
He went to school! I’m still getting over it…
My Sam went to school last September, and the truth is I think I’m still getting over it. It’s just so quiet! Even though he drove me crazy, sometimes on an hourly basis, I always appreciated my time off with him. Personally, I have always worked part time since having kids, I like the work/life balance. I loved my days with him getting up in the morning, looking at each other, and saying mmm, what shall we do today? We can do anything! We can be adventurers and explore the amazon, we can go to the beach and throw stones in the sea, we can fly a kite! Now I drop them both at school, go for my run or do some yoga, then get on with work. Monday to Friday. When I pick them up it’s gorgeous, but my job now is to cart them around from club to club so they can be musicians, and footballers, and swimmers.
Luckily, I have carved a new career for myself which means I can have school holidays with them to indulge and play and be free. Plus, weekends is a glimmer of where it was, but there are four of us to consider, all with different things we want to do, not just two like before.
Yes, days can be long and sometimes time will drag, but really….
Make the most of it!
So, if you’re at home with your babies, make the most of it. I know some days are easier than others, but appreciate this time you have off, to indulge in yourselves, free from the drudgery of the 9-5. Sooner or later it will come to an end, there will be a gap, it will be quiet… Like me, you may find this is the time to get a dog 🙂
As well as being an expert in pregnancy massage, Jackie teaches YogaBubs baby yoga, YogaBumps pregnancy yoga and BeCalm HypnoBirthing. To book an appointment or to find out more about her classes, call reception on 01603 631 900, email [email protected] or go to our contact page.