Maternity Leave & My New Normal

Maternity Leave Now back to my new normal

Six months of maternity leave has flown by, I am so grateful to Automattic to have this time off work to be with my newborn and to grow our family from three to four.

When you first think of six months off work, you think of all the amazing things you could do, the trips you could take and the goals you would like to achieve. But the reality is that maternity leave is just that, time off to recover from having a newborn and time to adjust to your new life as a larger family. 

The last six months has had its ups and downs, but I can happily say that we are in a good place now. My toddler has not shown any signs of jealousy towards the new arrival in the family, the little bundle of joy is growing well, at almost 6 months he’s already wearing 9 month size baby clothes! We still have many sleepless nights, but my husband and I work together to ensure we both get our sleep and take turns. 

My accomplishments during maternity leave

  • Bring a new life to this world – This was the big one, thumbs-up, it all went well. A second beautiful, healthy little boy.
  • Survived the sleepless nights – Still on going, but getting there.
  • Finished season’s 14, 15 and 16 of Grey’s Anatomy – Perfect breastfeeding binge-watching.
  • Lost weight – Happy to have lost the baby weight and am back to how I was a year ago.
  • Redecorated the office – This was the one other project not related to children, but we now have a newly redecorated office, took a few months to complete, as finding time to fit in the work was a challenge, but it looks great now. 

What have I learned?

  • Getting up at 5 am is not as bad as I thought, you can make the most of your day when no one else is around. On a side note, 5 am starts come with an afternoon snooze!
  • When then baby is asleep, rest. This is crucial for mummy survival. 
  • Setting small goals for the day, and being proactive to get things done, can make you feel a lot better.
  • The newborn stage goes by so fast, make the most of every moment.

What am I looking forward to?

  • Engineering Happiness – I am looking forward to getting back to my job as a Happiness Engineer and to see my teammates and other colleagues. I am really looking forward to Zoom calls with other adults again, not just baby talk!
  • New routine – Toddler started school back in September, so I am looking forward to finding a new morning routine, with the school run, early baby feeds and being fresh for work.
  • Getting a cleaner – While I was pregnant and with the newborn, we stopped having a cleaner, due to Covid-19. Going back to work, means I am again, looking for ways to make my life easier, so with things easing in this area, it’s time for me to get my weekends back and spend this time with the kids.

I don’t think I will ever have this experience again, so trying to make the most of it was important to me. While we didn’t actually go anywhere, as two kids are much more of a handful than one, and due to Covid-19, I feel the six months off was just enough time to adjust and adapt to my new world. 

FYI: Kids are hard work. Everyone who is a parent…. You are awesome!

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