Saturday, November 10, 2012

Plan of Attack: My Month 1 Maternity Leave Strategy

Maternity leave - real maternity leave where I'm not shouldering a full workload in addition to nursing, changing, and trying to engage with an infant - is a whole new ballgame for me. Now that H. is here and I'm officially on my unpaid three-month maternity leave, I've had some freelance work to do but a lot of the items on my weekly to-do list have been crafty or related to household management or just 'take a nap.' Did I mention that when offered a choice to stay home or play with friends, P. chose to keep going to childcare? So for half the day there's a whole lot of this going on:

maternity leave

And yet, given my personality I know that I could easily exhaust myself on any given weekday by trying to cram way too much into a day. Heck, I was acting on that tendency even before I left the hospital - accepting multiple rounds of visitors while finishing out my work week and trying to keep mom friends and family updated with Facebook posts and pictures. The thing is, I don't want to get so wrapped up in doing stuff that I miss out on a chance to just be with H. the way I got to just be with P. when she was freshly hatched.

So I set some ground rules for myself:
  1. No more than one outing or round of errands in a day (which doesn't include dropping off or picking up P.)
  2. Try to cluster errands and outings to correspond with drop-off or pick-up
  3. Limit visitors to one person or family per day
  4. Accept any and all offers of food
  5. Seriously consider accepting other specific offers of help
  6. No more than one round of client work each day (unless I feel like doing a little more when the mister gets home)
  7. Try to take a nap at least once a week, if not more often
  8. And maybe most importantly, never feel guilty about watching too much TV, not getting enough done, and missing emails and phone calls because I'm too busy staring at my baby
And that's my maternity leave strategy for the next few months... after which I'm going to have to slide right back into the whole working from home with a baby thing that worked so well with P. but may not be as easy with H. I hope it is, though, because otherwise I am going to be so screwed.


  1. I like that you mentioned not feeling guilty about watching tv. Sitting with your baby in your arms, in front of the tv is highly underrated. It gives you a chance to be still, decompress and either zone out or engage in something a bit more challenging and adult that the typical baby provides.

    I hope you enjoy your maternity leave and that you and H. have lots of time together!

    1. Plus, it makes me less impatient with nursing so he's more likely to eat his fill. I get ansy after a while, and I can't nurse without holding myself due to size issues, so I can only do stuff that requires no hands.

  2. He is so adorable! Congratulations!

    You will be sure to find a way that works for you and your family!

  3. That picture of you is divine - you look so beautiful and THAT BABY!! Enjoy every precious minute.........

  4. I love the happy tired Mama look. Enjoy your time, take naps, and have fun. :) He's gorgeous! Congrats!

    1. If you think that looks tired, you should see me now!

  5. What a beautiful photos of you and your precious new babe. Enjoy your leave. I think your rules make a lot of sense!

  6. You make a perfect couple! Enjoy your baby and I hope you have a good time.

  7. Look how in love you are! you have every right to be selfish with your time with him. enjoy it!
    p.s. amend #7 to take daily naps. they are especially sweet when you fall asleep on the couch watching tv, ha ha

  8. What nifty jammies. :-)

    Glad you're hanging in there!

  9. I know EXACTLY how you feel! Especially #s 5 and 8! I have so much guilt when I don't accomplish a gazillion things in two hours, how much more difficult after just having had a baby! I'm glad to hear you're doing this for yourself - you're smart! :-)

  10. Beautiful beautiful baby and mama! You have a plan and that is the #1 most important thing. Making it flexible is important (as are naps). And you're smart - having a baby doesn't mean you stop doing for YOU. Taking good care of YOU means you take good care of everything and everyone else.


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