Why maternity time is not me time

Pregnancy leave

Why maternity leave time is not me time?

You would think that once your maternity leave starts, you will catch up with your friends and hang out, and just relax and spend time on yourself. Well, you will do that, but that’s not all you will be able to do. In fact, the moment your maternity leave starts, you will find yourself running baby-related errands and before you know it, the baby has come.

Here’s what maternity leave really is for:

Maternity leave before baby:

  • Packing your hospital bag and checking it again and again to see if you have missed anything.
  • More frequent doctor visits and ultrasound scans as your pregnancy progresses.
  • Planning childcare for when you resume your job – interviewing nannies, childcare centres.
  • Deciding whether to return to job or not.
  • Arranging help – cook, nanny, maid – to manage the household during and after your delivery.

These are only the practical aspects of what entails the maternity time. What about the emotional aspects of it? Before your baby comes, there will be times you will find yourself looking at your pre-pregnancy clothes and thinking about the days you used to flash around wearing those. There will be times you will find it hard to believe that you actually did not get a wink of relaxation even though you were at home all day, thanks to the growing bump.

This is before you deliver your baby. After delivery, here’s how you will find yourself spending your maternity leave:

Maternity leave after baby:

  • Recovering from the delivery, whether it was normal or caesarean.
  • Bonding with the little human being who just came out of you, and constantly needs you and hardly sleeps.
  • Readjusting your whole body clock to cater to your baby’s needs – feeding, sleeping, feeding again, sleeping again. Oh yeah, and pooping and peeing.
  • Still partly managing the household, even if you have roped in your family for it.
  • Barely managing to squeeze time to talk to your husband before your baby needs your attention again.

Before you know, it is time for you to return to your job and your maternity time has just whooshed past you. No, this is not to scare you, but this is how the maternity leave actually spent. In the 12 weeks of it, you will hardly have time to catch up with your friends once or twice.

After you have mentally prepared yourself for your maternity leave and all that it entails, although you shouldn’t be wasting this valuable time and all of that, remember to cut yourself some slack and reward yourself a lazy day or two. You deserve it.