Reflecting on my Maternity Leave

So I’m going back to work this month and that’s about where my good mood turns south.

No, I shouldn’t say that, in many ways I’m looking forward to going back to work, it’ll be nice to resume my career which I worked so bloody hard for and put on hold to have a baby (no regrets of course, best thing I’ve ever done). It’ll also be really nice to make some of my own coin again. I, like so many others had to self fund my maternity leave, I got the government money which is better than nothing, but I didn’t get a penny from my work, not even a congratulations your having a baby, here is a bonus for all of your hard work and enjoy your year away – zip, nada, nothing!

Fortunately the husband and I had planned ahead and saved enough money so that I could take a year off and financially we’d be ok. Even though we did that I still felt a little guilty going out and spending up a storm as he went to work everyday. Having said that he never complained or made me feel guilty, he was all for me enjoying this time with our son and really making the most of my time away from work.

I really have had a great year. I’m not going to lie, the first two months were awful. I was a walking zombie, super emotional and an unshowered mess (seriously, it was so hard to have a shower some days). It was pretty rare for me to be out of my pjs before midday, but once I settled into this motherhood business it got so much better from there on out.

I’ve loved spending so much time with my little man and watching him grow really has been the biggest buzz. My favourite time of the day is walking into his room first thing in the morning just after he wakes up, and being greeted by his gorgeous smile. Never has anyone been so excited to see me and I to see him.

Staying at home with a baby isn’t easy, but it has given me a freedom and flexibility I never had when working full time. Like, I can collect a missed package from the post office midweek, I can go to the bank without taking a day off work, I can do my groceries during the day as opposed to on the weekend or late at night, I can visit great cafes for lunch midweek and not have to contend with weekend crowds, I can go to the gym at a reasonable hour as opposed to 6am everyday, and above all else I’ve had a great opportunity to really enjoy Melbourne and all that it has to offer.

For the first time I don’t feel rushed and stressed to get things organised in the little time I used to have away from work. I’m doing everything I want to be doing and I get to hang out with an amazing little man at the same time. Damn, I love this lifestyle!

No doubt it’s going to be a really hard transition back into work and I’m going to miss my little man like crazy. I’m going back to work four days a week and I really question how I’m going to be able to stay on top of things and remain sane (although some would argue that I already lack sanity). I’m sure we’ll eventually settle into a routine and life will go on but I’m seriously going to miss the freedom of being at home.

Watch this space for part two in the next couple of months, I’m hoping it’s not a story of a woman on the edge!

4 thoughts on “Reflecting on my Maternity Leave

  1. So glad to have read this post just now – I just finished posting up something similar… I go back to work in 3 weeks and am working full time but over four days which I did after my first maternity leave and it worked really well! Looking forward to reading future posts 🙂


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