The end of maternity leave
The date I’ve been dreading for the past nine months is almost here. Tomorrow marks the start of my final week of maternity leave..
I’m not sure it’s properly sunk in yet to be honest. The return to reality. I have spent my whole life unknowingly wishing time away and always focused on the ‘what’s next’, but the past nine months have taught me to truly live in the moment and appreciate each day spent watching our little boy grow and develop. They say (I know, who’s ‘they’) that having a baby is the hardest thing you will do but that’s not true – leaving them is!
So how am I feeling about it? First of all I’m dreading having to get dressed and wear make-up every day. I have been the queen of loungewear since becoming a mum and my daily outfit choices haven’t ventured further than my ‘chairdrobe’. So I have to do washing now – okay got it. Next there’s time. 30 hours work in 4 days – how am I going to fit that in? I only manage to shower each day as JJ is a clockwork napper. The house is never tidy, the fridge is never full and I’m never on time – but I do try, honest. Lastly, now this is a genuine concern, does my brain still work?! I must waste so much time each day wondering why I have just walked into a room – what did I need again – why am I here?! How the hell am I meant to ‘professionally adult’ and all that?
Okay so the serious stuff.. We’re so lucky that our parents are able to help out with childcare which not only is going to save us A BOMB, but it’s also lovely that JJ will get to spend two days a week with people he already knows and loves (while no doubt running them round in circles!) The other two days he will be at Nursery. I know he’s going to settle in just fine and love the idea of him forming mini friendships from such a young age. I can already see him coming on leaps and bounds in terms of development, but I know it’s going to break my heart if I’m not there to witness any of the big milestones, or if he does get upset when I leave him in the morning.
Most of all I’m dreading only seeing my baby to get him up / fed / ready, then giving him tea / bath / bed on the days I am working. From spending all day together to this, is going to be a huge adjustment, and something I think no mother could ever be fully prepared for. He’s my little best friend. As stressful as it can be chasing him round the living room all day pulling him away from plugs or the cat, tending to his whinges any time I try to sit down to take a sip of my cuppa, not taking his refusal to eat my home cooked healthy meals personally or mastering nappy changes despite his determination to roll and wriggle away – I just don’t think I’m ready to give any of that up and hand over the baton to someone else.
So there it is – all my fears out there in the open. I know how I’m feeling is normal, but that doesn’t make it any less daunting. I know (okay I don’t know, but I have been told) that it will get easier once we’re in a routine, and I will appreciate the time I do spend with him so much more.. but even so.. WHY DOES MATERNITY HAVE TO END! 🙁