Tomorrow is my last day of work before I not only finish up for the year, but also before I head off on maternity leave. It is a weird feeling. I mean, I think that finishing work for the end of the year always feels a bit strange, but add the fact that I am not coming back to my workplace and that in a short seven weeks I will be giving birth to a baby boy – well, I think it is definitely fair enough that I feel a little out of sorts.
People have started to ask me what I plan on doing while on maternity leave and it left me feeling both excited and a little bit wary. My boss says that I will find that I will sleep a lot – especially in the afternoons. Everyone has been telling me that from now on I should sleep whenever I can because soon enough, I will be up with bub. Honestly though, the idea of being up with him and not having consistent hours sleep doesn’t phase me in the slightest. What I am coming to understand though is that I will be sleeping for a lot of my leave. It gets to 2pm and all I want to do is close my eyes for half an hour or so – and I have NEVER been a keen napper. Ever.
I am excited for leave because it means that this next phase has well and truly begun. Pete and I have reached the final stretch of the pregnancy and are all but waiting to meet our little man. All the hormones are also making me want to just nest. Leaving my house of a morning is hard simply because I want to be home, and doing anything outside of work is near impossible for me to get excited about because all I want is to be home. I can’t even explain why or what it is about home but I have been reassured several times that it is completely normal at this stage to rarely leave the house – which totally works for me.
I am also excited for maternity leave for the obvious reasons. It is almost summer and I can spend my days doing the bay walk and going to Drummoyne pool and the beach and eating ice cream at Darling Harbour or Circular Quay. I am actually SO EXCITED for ample cleaning time every day and I realise how lame that sounds but I do love cleaning our house. I am looking forward to learning how to make and use royal icing and extending my cookie making and decorating skills. I plan on experimenting a lot more in the kitchen and making use of the extra meal preparation time I will have. I really want to nail a miso eggplant recipe above all else. So good. I am keen to read a lot of books – including some children’s ones out loud to the little guy because I am starting him young – and also attempting to make my way through the seemingly endless list of television shows and movies people have given me ahead of maternity leave.
The (Oblivious) New Mama is going to be able to be my main focus for the next month and a half and I am finally going to have the time to do and create everything that I have wanted to for this site, but haven’t had the time or the energy to do whilst working. If anything, that is what I am most excited for – really making something of this website, of my words and sharing as much knowledge, baked goods and book reviews with the world. I am absolutely determined to make this a successful and profitable endeavour. I want to live and work through my passion and I am able to run this site from anywhere, and I can do so whilst still being the hands-on, available and attentive mother that I have always wanted to be.
The only thing that I am a bit anxious about when it comes to maternity leave is the fact that it will be the first time in my life that I am not earning an income. I have some money saved for my own spending and we will be receiving the parental payments from Centrelink as well, and financially, we will be fine, but it feels so weird and foreign. I do feel that I will experience a fair amount of guilt while I am off during the weeks before bub arrives. I think that surely, that’s natural for first time mothers? I know that I will need to find a way to make peace with those feelings and really lean into the comfort and safety of the fact that I am in a committed and loving relationship and that this is all part of it. It is also why I think it is so important that I remain focused on my little side projects (that I believe will eventuate in a full year’s salary eventually) as well as everything that makes up who I am. I don’t want to lose my identity. Instead, I want to use this time to really flesh out my passions, throw myself into them and make them into something really special. I want to do all of this first and foremost for myself, but also for my son and for my family.
Bring on maternity leave, I say!
Also, it’s really hot at the moment and everything is harder. So yeah, it will be nice to spend some days on the lounge, in front of the fan with a bowl of watermelon and nowhere to be.
And no clothes.