Goodbye maternity leave – it’s been a blast…

Starting maternity leave back in September 2013, I felt like I had all the time in the world ahead of me. But 9 months later and faced with the prospect of returning to work in five weeks, I find myself feeling a little sad at the impending loss of my stay-at-home-mummy time. It’s been an emotional and physical roller-coaster, so here’s the highlights of my time off and what I’ve learnt and accomplished:

 

  1. Keeping two small children alive. Simultaneously. My greatest triumph to date. Seriously never thought this would be possible and had many sleepless nights when pregnant, wondering how on earth you manage a toddler and a newborn. But Reuben still has all his limbs in tact after over-zealous cuddles from big brother, and Zach has blossomed into a proud and protective older sibling, taking much joy from being able to tell his younger brother “you can’t do that yet, you’re just a baby.”
  2. My first solo trip to the park with both kids – sounds incidental but I felt like I’d climbed a mountain. Regardless of the fact that it took me an hour to leave the house and get into the car, I wanted to high-five every mother in the park in celebration of my parental achievement. Except there were no other mothers there. And it was raining. And cold. And we left shortly after arriving.
  3. I’m a multi-tasking genius…come back to me when you can feed a baby whilst pretending to be a baddie fighting Spider-Man, during which time you’re on hold to the electricity company and picking up husband’s socks off the floor with your toes. Then we’ll talk. 
  4. Weeing alone just doesn’t feel right anymore – I can’t remember the last time I went to the loo without an audience. Prepare yourself work colleagues, things are gonna change.
  5. Over-sharing (see point 4) – after two children, apparently I have no boundaries anymore. 
  6. My life is governed by naps – the baby’s naps, Zach’s nap, my lack of naps…who knew managing sleep could be so tiring. The irony.
  7. Leggings have become my uniform. It’s like walking round in an acceptable form of pyjamas. I’m not proud, but they’ve been as much a part of my maternity leave as my own children. And at times, much less stressful. My faithful old friends…how I shall miss thee when I return to the world of work, fitted trousers and heels. 
  8. The joy of having a sibling – as an only-child myself (and no, I’m not spoilt or bad at sharing – now go and buy me a pony), I’ve never known what it’s like to have that kind of bond with someone else. But when I see my boys laughing together, with a look of absolute love and adoration on their little faces, it makes my selfish, spoilt, only-child heart swell with love and pride.
  9. In the last four weeks I’ve remembered I have a body – one that does more than grow extremely large babies. Hubby and I have been on the caveman diet (no processed foods, refined sugars, only eat food in their natural state, blah, blah) and I’ve lost almost all of my remaining baby weight. But ‘the pouch” still remains (mummies – you know what I’m talking about). So whilst I have rediscovered the joy of (almost) fitting into nice clothes again, I now have to face the harsh reality that I need to do A LOT of exercise on my abs (or lack of) to stop the wobbly bits wobbling. Ugh. Oh to be 20 and elasticated once more.
  10. I’m turning into my mother – it happens to the best of us and I often find myself using her phrases, pulling similar facial expressions or wondering what she would do in a given situation. And of this last point, I couldn’t be more proud. I hope she would be too.
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