My Ode to Maternity Leave0
At this time last summer I was big, pregnant, swollen and hot. I was in my last month of work and was dreaming about being on maternity leave. The 12 hour shifts were getting to me and I couldn’t move around very fast during a birth. I dreamed about the upcoming year off and it seemed endless and potentially amazing.
I pretty much envisioned my new mother self traveling with our new amazing baby all over the place. Off to Florida to see my husbands family and maybe to France to just live and experience! I had great aspirations of studying and doing some course work for my nursing career. I’m not sure what happened but I have not done either of these things and I have a work schedule looming around the corner.
I’m not totally shocked and don’t feel too badly about not getting these things done. I am just surprised that the year off is on its way to being over and I am feeling a little stumped. Where did it go? There was a full year off ahead of me and now there is about 6 weeks. There are things I didn’t get done but I know that there is so much more that I did get do. This last year has been exhausting but also so amazing.
Since Ben was so screechy as a little baby we never did do any big plane travel and because he needed lots of love and attention the idea of studying was also sort of nixed. Of course over the months I often thought about my ‘to do’ list often but more important stuff kept popping up. The year is almost over and I already have started reflecting back on what I actually did get done.
So, what did I get done besides being a mama to a busy boy? Well, I was in two wedding parties as a bridesmaid all before Ben was 9 weeks old. At one of the weddings, as I stood up at the front, my baby screamed loudly throughout the vows (sorry Krista and Lance!). I took him on a float plane and traveled from Vancouver to Victoria alone with him first at 9 weeks and again a few months later. We walked the whole city together. Back and forth, back and forth. Something I never did before I had a baby and a stroller and days ‘off’. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone at baby music class and sung my heart out and wiggled and moved just to make my boy happy. I had many wonderful baby dates with fellow mama friends and friends alike! So wonderful and sweet.
I guess I over planned my year off and didn’t really account for all the real life factors to come into play. Like the fact that being a new mum is all consuming. No matter how I slice it I have loved my year off on maternity leave and it sort of feels like a gigantic gift. I’m curious how things will all work out but I don’t want to over think it. I guess they will just work out how ever they do.