With only a month left to go before I return to work I have been looking back at the last 9 months and looking forward at the next chapter in this crazy new life.
I remember when I left the office for the last time before my maternity leave began. With only 2 weeks until due date I felt ready to go. I had completed a pretty comprehensive hand over and had switched off from all of my responsibilities at work. It was time. I was looking forward to a few weeks of resting, catching up on some episodes of The Walking Dead and stocking up on meals to then freeze ready for when baby arrived. (Amazing tip for anybody on maternity leave !!) It was a lovely few weeks. I had super long lie ins, a late breakfast then maybe a mini nap! I watched awful cheesy films on Netflix and just relaxed. Of course this all changed a month later when Miss P finally made her arrival!
Maternity leave part 1 where I was chilled and relaxed was over and maternity leave part 2 had begun. Looking back at that time it seemed like I had forever until I was to return to work. Miss P would be 9 months old, she would almost certainly be sleeping through the night and I would have almost certainly given up breastfeeding.
We are now 8 months into maternity leave and its 4 weeks until I return to work. We still don’t sleep through and I am amazingly still breast feeding. It’s funny how things turn out and how you think that you know how they will be in those early hazy days.
I have been lucky enough to have a few good friends and my sister on maternity leave at the same time as me. This has made my maternity leave a whole difference experience to what it could have been if we all hadn’t done some spooky baby timing! I have loved this side of it. Being able to see my friends and family during the week with their little ones has been lovely. Just making plans on a random Tuesday afternoon has just become the norm. Meeting for lunch and not having to rush back to work afterwards is lovely! Our regular trip on a Wednesday morning to Song and Rhyme Time with my sister and niece has been so much fun and our Friday afternoon Baby Sensory class has always marked the beginning of the weekend and time as a family.
One of my favourites things has been our lazy mornings. Yes we may be up at the crack of dawn some days, but just having a few hours at home in our PJs playing is just lovely! We have had no real routine but some kind of routine at the time. An unofficial routine. I have loved it! To say it has been a holiday would be far from the truth but to share this experience with some of the closest people around me has made it an even more special time.
So with 4 weeks left to go I have to start looking at the next chapter and what is next. I am lucky enough to be going back to work three days a week so will still have some precious extra time to spend together. These will be the days when we return to maternity leave mode. We will still attend Baby Sensory and I have just signed us up for our first Little Turtles swimming lessons. I have been meaning to do this for a few months but never got around to it. It will be lovely to have something new to start as part of our new chapter.
I feel half ready to return to work and half like I have only just started to get the hang of this baby thing! It has gone in a flash and feels like just as I start to really get the hang of things it’s time to go back to work. But I am excited for this next chapter. Seeing how much she has grown and changed over the last few months has been brilliant and I can’t wait to see how she changes being in new environments and hearing all about her new adventures. It of course will be strange to not know every little thing she has done that day but it does mean I get to enjoy her smile even more when I see her after a day at work. It also means if I ever have a bad day I am pretty certain a smile at the end of the day will make it all better!
Looking back at my maternity leave I will look back and smile. It hasn’t always been easy and there have been some tears along the way. But looking at Miss P I can say we did good. We made it through this first chapter. Here’s to the next one!