Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Plan of Attack: My Month 2 Maternity Leave Strategy

With my first month of unpaid maternity leave over, it's time to take a second look at my strategy to see what's working and what isn't.The little mister and I are doing a lot of nursing, of course. And the weather broke, so we've been lucky enough to get out on some walks around the neighborhood. But still, I have a lot going on for a mama on maternity leave and that has meant having to pay close attention to what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong so I can adjust and adapt. What follows is what I've been ruminating on lately.

What works: Almost everything I listed in my Month 1 maternity leave strategy will apply to Month 2. Limiting visitors and outings kept me cooped up for a while, but also saved my sanity. Since I haven't had as much work as a freelance writer lately, focusing on a single professional task a day has worked. We set a Christmas budget and stuck to it, so this won't be an entirely handmade holiday - since I'm the primary DIYer in the house. And having food delivered to us now and then has meant fewer trips to the market.

What doesn't: Naps. Oh, naps. I want to love you but the fact is that it takes me forever to fall asleep and H. never seems to want to cooperate. When he's napping, I'm up. I'm tired, and he's wide awake. Since we could never work out a way to nap together, I've pretty much given up on daytime sleep. Thankfully, he's been a good sleeper so I'm not totally off my head with exhaustion. That could change, but for now I'm doing fine without daytime sleep.

What's changed: Last week, I fell back into some old routines of wasting time online when I ought to have been working or focusing on helping moms meet moms. Leech Block is my solution - sorry, Reddit, but you won't be seeing me during the day! And then I was trying to cram too much into each day. I dealt with that by turning my weekly to-do list into a daily to-do list with specific tasks assigned to specific days so I know I'm only on the hook for so much work or so many errands or Christmas duties on any given day.

I'm paying such close attention to what's working (and not) because I don't want to shortchange this awesome little guy:

maternity leave

How did you handle your busy maternity leave?


  1. I think your issues are the same for lots of working/SAH moms...more things to get done than hours in the day. I've been going nuts trying to do too much lately so I try just to accomplish only 3 things but then something unexpected comes up that needs immediate attention and then I get stressed trying to do that plus the 3 things. I could talk in circles about this!

    You are doing fine mama!

    1. Now that I think about it, maybe these are the issues faced by most WOMEN! We seem to be the doers of the world.

  2. I am a SAHM, but also I work at odd jobs that have odd hours... like piano teacher and photographer? So I have had to have a "leave" of my own making... but that all boils over onto everything else.

    Here's what I do that works. LISTS. Every week, I just add things as I think of them, when I get a moment, I do something that CAN be done in the time I think I have. And checking things off makes me happy. I add everything, even fun things.

    1. Squee! I'm the same way - I'll put walks and painting mugs and zoo on my to-do list :) I'm also a big fan of saying "I have 15 minutes (or however long) so what can I do?" It really works!

  3. Oh man, I had 16 weeks of maternity leave, and didn't feel ready to really enjoy it until there were only 2 days left. It looks like you're doing a fantastic job of trying to balance time with the little man and time getting other things done.

  4. I can't even maternity leave, it happened so fast but I do recall getting less naps with 2nd and 3rd. I hope you're baby starts sleeping more at night so you can get your rest!


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