I am very lucky to have my dream job. As Content Editor and PR Manager over on Lazygamer.net, I get to do work that I enjoy, usually in the comfort of my PJs. I work hard, but because I love what I do, it rarely feels draining; rather, I’m excited to get up every morning and create cool content, engage with fun people and throw around a ridiculous amount of banter with my coworkers. For the past couple months, I’ve been on maternity leave. While I’ve incredibly grateful to be given this time off, it certainly has its ups and downs.
I’m lucky enough to be given three months of maternity leave. That means that I still have a few weeks before I go back to work, and even when I return, I’m even more lucky – I already work from home and have a company that supports me and will work around my baby-influenced schedule as much as possible. Yes, it is the dream situation for most women. But maternity leave isn’t all great.
On the one hand, it is absolutely wonderful to have this time off to get used to having the kid around. I’ve been able to learn how to take care of her, bond with her, go to classes with her and get comfortable taking her out of the house. It was especially necessary early on when I was first getting used to the sleep deprivation and would take naps whenever she conked out. But I’m getting more used to her rhythm and I’m not as tired as I was. So it has been wonderful to have the time to hang out, get used to each other and find our natural routine together.
On the other hand, it is really tedious and mind-numbing. My day revolves around comforting her when she cries (which can vary between a cushy 20 minute a day job or an all-day slog), feeding, changing and putting her to sleep. I need to actively seek out adult conversations and information or I end up bored and frustrated. The worst is the crying, though – I can handle the diapers and the nursing without much hassle, it’s when she cries and I don’t know what to do that drives me into my evening glass of wine/beer. And why do babies have to be the most difficult between five and eight in the evening? Childcare is more than a full time job – it’s like three shifts of manual labor, all day every day.
So, in a way I’m so grateful to have this time to figure things out with the little monster. To play with her, to feed her, to build my day around her nap times. And at the same time, I’m so desperate for ways to work, to fill my time with thoughts that aren’t related to the baby, to focus on the things that used to fill my whole day before she came along. I will make the effort to enjoy the time I have with her, because it is limited, but I’m also secretly watching the calendar, excited for the day when I can work again… at least while she’s napping.