MEternity Leave? Really?

Over a week ago, on June 1, I sat down to start writing a blog post.  I wrote one sentence of that post and I have not been back to WordPress since then.  It’s not because I haven’t wanted to blog, and it’s not because I have nothing to blog about… it’s because I’ve quite literally had no time to myself – at all.

This phenomenon of having no time to myself, despite being home from my 80-100hr+ work week, reminded me of the MEternity fiasco from a few months back.  For anyone to think that a maternity leave is a “sabbatical” or “vacation” or anything that resembles an opportunity for “me time” has got something seriously wrong.  If I’m going to be completely honest, I would say that I haven’t really been enjoying my maternity leave that much.  Before I divulge all the reasons I’m not enjoying it, I’ll state the few things that I do enjoy about maternity leave (just so I don’t seem to be complaining all the time):

  1. I love baby El and I love to spend time watching her grow and change.  I want her to stay small forever, but I know she won’t.  I’m cherishing the time I get to spend with her now.
  2. I get to see my other kids more often than I did when I was working.

Yes, I think that’s about it.  Here are all the things I dislike about my maternity leave:

  1. I am always tired – I am lucky to get 6 hours of broken sleep a night, and the sleep I do get is far from quality as I am paranoid about my baby and her ridiculously low risk of SIDS (this is where I say that, contrary to all advice on how to reduce SIDS, I can’t abide by t all.  Baby El refuses to sleep unless she is right next to me, with easy access to her precious boobie – All. The. Time.)
  2. I almost always have a little human being attached to my body.  This is either in the form of breastfeeding or babywearing.  Baby El usually needs to be nursed to sleep.  And, she doesn’t really like to stay asleep unless someone is carrying her.
  3. I am always yelling at the boys: Either they aren’t listening to the Nanny, so I get mad at them for that.  Or, they aren’t listening to me, so I get mad at them for that.  Or they are too loud and running around every part of the house and waking up the delicate baby that I just FINALLY GOT TO SLEEP.  I feel like all the time I spend with my kids involves yelling.
  4. I miss adult human interaction.  You can only text message people so much before you get bored.  Plus, everyone is working while I am home, so there is no one to go out with during the day.
  5. I have fleeting thoughts of finishing that book I started weeks ago, or working on the cross stitch birth announcements (for E first, before I can start El’s), or blogging, or even getting some exercise.  However, those thoughts are vanquished by one of the three kids that are demanding my attention at any given time of the day.  If I’m lucky, I can get outside for a walk with the baby in a carrier (she won’t even stay settled in a stroller)… but not before getting the 10th degree from A, who wants to know where I’m going, when I’ll be back, why he can’t come, am I sure he can’t come, and what kind of punishment I will get if I’m not home when I say I’ll be home.
  6. I miss my job… dearly.  If it wasn’t for my baby, I would go back tomorrow.
  7. I’m sure there is something I’m missing.

So there you have it… My maternity leave is far from relaxing, enjoyable, or a life changing revolution.

And, I’ve gotta go… baby El is awake!

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2 thoughts on “MEternity Leave? Really?

  1. I’m sure many would relate to this, and I believe it’s a problem with the way we’ve slowly extricated ourselves from real people. We are all well connected via social media, but the only way to be connected on a face to face basis is through our work.
    Many years ago, when I was a young mum like you, I met a Papua New Guinean woman who had married an Australian teacher. They had their first two children in Papua New Guinea, where she lived in her primitive village, but then her husband was transferred back to Australia.
    She struggled on many levels to fit into our society, but the birth of her third baby was the time she found the most difficult. She complained about the unwieldiness of prams, and the insanity of putting a baby to bed in another room, but it was what she told my about village life with a newborn, that I became green with envy.
    She described a typical day caring for her baby while her friends and relatives beat a path to the door of her hut to cook, clean, and chat to her. All she worried about was her baby, and she was never lonely.
    In our pursuit for independence, and our determination to do everything ‘our’ way, we have lost so much, and yet I don’t know how I’d feel about my mother-in-law popping in every day, even if she did clean. I probably would have stressed about having the house perfect before she arrived. And yet, I can see how insane that is.
    I wish I could find the solution.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is such an interesting perspective, Juli! I find myself longing for more human interaction beyond my kids and my nanny. I find it is very hard to get this type of interaction, as everyone is so busy with their own lives. I can see how you would have been envious of this woman’s position in her home village – I am envious just hearing about it!

      Liked by 1 person

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