Contrary to what some may believe, maternity leave is not a vacation. I can’t sleep in or do absolutely nothing all day. My income has been significantly reduced. I can’t travel the world or shop and eat to my heart’s content. Nor can I get to my many planned projects.
Maternity leave is not exactly relaxing. I’m tired most of the time; but, I am loving every minute of it.
It didn’t start off that way. I was stressed out and overwhelmed for many reasons: sleep deprivation, breastfeeding, general new-mother worries, etc. I felt pressure to keep up with housework and stay healthy.
After learning to adjust, I can now say that I’m loving this time. I’ve got the hang of things and even manage to get some “me time” once in awhile. And my baby is developing his own little personality so it’s fun and fascinating (even during the cranky teething hours).
In addition to doing the routine household chores, pumping and feeding, my days are usually filled with meetups with other moms and babies in the area. We, moms, have developed friendships and it’s exciting to think our babies will eventually become classmates, friends and peers.
I’m enjoying getting to know my neighbourhood and meeting other parents, but most of all, I’m enjoying watching my baby grow and discover the world.
A regular commenter on my husband’s blog just posted his very sad story about infertility and miscarriage. Here’s a quote from it:
“It isn’t fair. I was a dad for 17 weeks, and now I’m not. I was going to teach them to cook. Play board games with them. Watch them grow up and experience the world and find their place in life and fall in love. I wanted to spend life time with them, and instead only got 17 weeks, and got to be there when they died in an emergency room.”
It reminded me of how lucky I am to have conceived and gone through a problem-free, enjoyable pregnancy. And most importantly, how lucky I am to have a beautiful, healthy son.
It’s stories like Lorne’s, though, that make me feel slightly guilty for talking about my baby and sharing my happiness. I’m sure his story isn’t about placing guilt on other parents nor is he asking for sympathy; I think it’s one way to cope and to touch others who are going through the same. I truly sympathize with Lorne and his wife (along with anyone who has experienced infertility or loss) and I admire their inner and physical strength. I can only imagine the heartbreak they must be feeling. I have no words that can make them feel any better; I have no words actually. It just truly sucks that some have it more difficult than others without rhyme or reason.
I thank Lorne for sharing his story. For me, it’s another reminder to cherish every moment with my son. For others who can relate, I hope you can take away some sort of strength and encouragement.
Read Lorne’s story here.