So has it been all that imagined? In some ways, yes, and in other, it’s a big oh-no!
Being a homebody I had long looked forward to the idea of having 12 months off after bub but oh, how different it is when reality kicks in to full swing! Like being a doctor on call 24/7 – you must be at your peak for any situation at any time of day (minus the attractive salary though). The “year off” morphs from being time away from the world in which you are remunerated for those tasks you do, to going to sleep at work, waking up at work, living at work, working weekends, public holidays, graveyard shifts… No switching off for you come 5.30pm thank you!
Previous to parenthood, and peering through rose coloured glasses, I’d envisaged dabbling in all sorts of fun creative projects while on maternity leave. Not so! It was, initially just about surviving and spare time was earmarked solely for sleep! Even this blog, conceived of some 6 months back, took a back seat in favour of so many other tasks that required being done first.
But those are the sacrifices we make the world over when we make the choice to bring another life into this world and there has gotta eventually come a time in life where you stop acting selfishly and start working all energy towards another little soul, right? Right!
But all that being said and done, in other areas, I truly made the most of my maternity leave. With my penchant to come down with cabin fever after a few weeks walled up at home, it was convenient that we could take ourselves off on little trips here and there when the need arose. Any chance we had, we snatched up a cheap mid week flight and winged our way to Coffs Harbour for some “rehab” (read: Grandparents swooping in and doting on the Grandson while the new Mummy got some much needed rest!) or sidled alongside Daddy while he travelled somewhere for work. Oh yes, I am living proof you can make 12 small trips away in a year on a strict budget, let me assure you off that! (Though we thank K Rudd for the fancy Fiji getaway – couldn’t have done it without you PM!)
Admittedly, while being a “working Mum” will no doubt create yet another chaotic dimension into our already hectic lives, I cant help but be excited about it. To think, I will be able to eat lunch without a little person climbing up my leg, demanding insistently that I share, even though he’s just polished off 2 courses of my home cooking. Oh, and to go to the bathroom in peace, what joy that will bring this! And there is the oh so delicious thought of a lunch hour to look forward too – I may just get back on track with socialising and doing a spot of shopping in peace!
So yes, while we have survived the year emotionally and financially, its definitely time to return to the paid working world. The bank manager and the brain both agree it’s a necessity!