Hi friends! Happy Thursday!
I started writing a blog about time chunking + to do lists. Believe it or not, planning my day on maternity leave is very important if I want to accomplish tasks. But, I went back + read Making the Most of Your Time + decided to have you refer back to that 🙂
Maternity leave has received some press coverage because of the article entitled I want all the perks of maternity leave – without having any kids. I actually never clicked on it when everyone was sharing it (call me a rebel), but I try not to let other people’s opinions work me up. So, knowing that her opinion wouldn’t…I didn’t care to read.
When I read it yesterday, I have to say…I don’t get what the fuss was about. She actually makes some incredible points + I fully support that all adults need time away from their jobs. And I’m talking more than just a week long vacation.
The author did end up leaving her job to take some time for herself, this is what she found:
“Ultimately, what I learned from my own “meternity” leave is that any pressure I felt to stay late at the office wasn’t coming from the parents on staff. It was coming from myself. Coming back to a new position, I realized I didn’t need an “excuse” to leave on time. And that’s what I would love the take-away for my book to be: Work-life balance is tough for everyone, and it happens most when parents and nonparents support and don’t judge each other.” -Anna Davies
Bingo! All of the sudden, it seems like we are living in an us vs. them society. Breastfeeding moms vs. formula moms. Working moms vs. stay-at-home moms. Parents vs. non-parents. Fit people vs. couch potatoes.
Why???? And why do most people let someone get under their skin so easily???? Or better yet, why do we twist someone’s opinion or what they say to be in opposition?
My suggestion is to be confident in what you are doing + stay in your own lane. If some weird lady makes a comment at Panera, why should I care or get upset? I don’t. If my best friend says “I think I’m going to be a more chill mom”, why not just smile + reply “maybe you will!”? Knowing full well that I thought I would be a “chill mom” until my sweet little man made me a protective momma that now fully understands why bringing him to a big party when he was very little wasn’t a good idea, or why routines actually do matter.
I’m over here just trying to do what is best for Maxwell + my little family.
The best we can do is support each other even if we don’t always understand the other person’s experience. I heard many times that your friendships change when you become a momma. My friend Carrie has exemplified the opposite. When I was 40 weeks pregnant she would still invite me to workout. Now that Max is here she invites the two of us to a track workout. She cheers for me when I update her that I lost 2 pounds. She comes over because she knows it easier for her to travel to us right now. She listens when I’m scared + crying that Max might need surgery (he doesn’t). She gently encourages without judgement.
Of course I don’t think maternity leave is just a big break, raising these littles is a lot of work! It can be just as (maybe moreso) overwhelming than a day at work.
“Bottom line: Women are bad at putting ourselves first. But when you have a child, you learn how to self-advocate to put the needs of your family first.” -Annie Davies
I would agree! On our busy nursing unit, I’ve often heard phrases like “Well, I don’t have to get home to kids…so, I’ll stay to help”. I understand doing that sometimes, but I’m sure that nurse also needs a break + reprieve from work. We all need to protect ourselves from overcommitting.
The author of the article above mentioned friends that had revelations when they were on maternity leave. One started her own business + one switched industries. Shocking, a baby makes you reprioritize + assess your current job? 😉 I love my nursing job! I’m going back to work part-time, which is a great balance for us!
Just for fun, I did document yesterday as a way for people to understand what my maternity leave looks like. In my experience I feel very happy + I actually do get a good amount of sleep. We do have hard days or days that I’m VERY excited for Drew to get home + help. But for the most part, my maternity leave with Max has rocked. I just looked at the clock + updated the post throughout the day. Here is how it panned out:
2:00-2:20am: Feed, burp, change, put Maxwell back to bed. Go back to bed myself 🙂
6:00-7:00am: Feed, burp, change, snuggle, get him back down for a nap.
7:10-9:30am: Pump, make + eat breakfast, put in load of laundry, take a quick shower + “get ready” for the day, order photos, blog work (write, edit, plan pictures, etc), switch laundry, load + start dishwasher, sanitize pump parts, make sure diaper bag is stocked + put it in the Jeep, pick up around the house, pause productivity to watch Joana Hill on Live with Kelly!
As you can see I do a ton during this time period. Now that Max only wakes up once during the night + goes back down fast (typically), I don’t need to use this time to nap like I used to.
9:00-11:45am: Feed Max + give him attention during his awake + play time. Change him into an outfit for the day. Load everything including him into the Jeep.
12:15-2:05pm: Meet Drew for lunch (his office is right next to the clinic, one reason we picked it!). Go to 2 month doctor’s appointment as a family of 3 (complete with vaccinations…eeek!). Breastfeed Max after shots to make him feel better + because he is hungry! Drew goes back to work + momma stops at the Starbuck’s drive thru as a treat for making it through vaccinations.
2:45pm: Get home + breastfeed, burp, snuggle.
3:15pm: Friend comes over to visit, catch up, + meet little mister.
4:45pm: Breastfeed, burp, snuggle, put down for a nap. Work on blog post.
5:30-7:30 pm: Max wakes up screaming in pain. We were warned that one of the vaccinations can make them very sore + fussy. I spend this time just rocking him + trying to make him feel better. Drew came home with Tylenol + we gave it to him. He fell asleep on me + I ate dinner over his sleeping head (that Drew made, thanks babe!).
7:30-8:30pm : Breastfeed + burp. Max is feeling a bit better + we decide to give him a bath since he really needed one.
8:30-9:00 pm: Drew starts Maxwell’s bedtime routine. I take a very much needed shower.
9:00-9:40pm: Make Peanut Butter Energy Balls, pump, sanitize parts, put mother-in-law’s birthday gift together, bring laundry upstairs but do not even think of putting it away 😉
9:40-10:00pm: Get myself ready for bed. Work on this post for 10 minutes + decided sleep is more important + I can finish in the morning!
As you can see I didn’t work out this day. If you refer to my plan on Tuesday, I knew it would be a busy day + planned my rest day accordingly.
Takeaway from this post: we can support each other even if we have not experienced the other person’s situation.
I hope everyone has a great weekend! We’re headed to Drew’s hometown to visit!