Maternity leave…take it or leave it…?


It’s not that I don’t love my son, when he’s in a good mood (or asleep) he’s genuinely delightful.

Although I like my job it’s not the most glamourous or interesting job in the world and working for the Government is not the highest paying or most rewarding of things to do in all honesty.

I have lots of things I would like to do with my time off, I had grand plans a few years ago to do yoga teacher training should I ever end up with a year off.  I love to knit and (recently) crochet and (even more recently) blog.  The issue is I am finding after 11 months of maternity leave, I am not getting to do any of these things, and to be frank I’m bored.  On the face of it there’s no reason why I can’t spend my days knitting to my hearts content, or finishing the numerous cross stitch projects I have started over the years, this was always my impression of maternity leave.  But I find that the boy’s attention span is such that by the time I get started on something he has lost interest in whatever he’s doing and is demanding that I put down my wool and play with him/feed him/put him down/stop him doing something dangerous.  Now you may think that this is just an issue since he has been able to crawl and coast, but truth be told even before that I had my hands full as he fed near constantly until 8 months and screamed blue murder if I ever let him out of my arms.

Why does it matter I tell myself, the purpose of maternity leave is to be maternal.  Jem should demand all my attention and come above and beyond everything (even FB or Twitter!)  I should want to play with him and entertain him, and I do…just not for 12 hours a day.  I also have the benefit of being off work for 14 months (the boy was 2 weeks late so the first month I was in fact just bored and heavily pregnant) much to the envy of friends and colleagues both parents and non-parents.  But when I spend so much time gazing around at all the fun things I could be doing, but am not, it feels like way too long.

I am reaching the stage where my NCT friends are returning to work, so my baby social circle is reducing rapidly, and I fear our daily whatsapp conversations may be about to become a thing of the past.  Although the sun is returning, after 11 months I’m pretty sick and tired of exploring the local area avec buggy.  I’ve also started to have a strong desire to make sure we’re at home during nap time (baby free time in the house is a rarity and therefore precious).  Even more surprising, I’m bored of shopping…although this could have something to do with the lack of money.

I’m not actually complaining (though it may sound like I am) I appreciate that this is a one off opportunity for me and Jem and I will regret not making the most of every second in a few years.  I wonder if it’s something to do with becoming an accidental mother, at an age when I am far too selfish to want to do things someone else’s way.  I wonder whether it’s because I am an only child.  I wonder whether it’s because Jem and I are too alike for our own good…I wonder lots of things…it helps to pass the time…

9 thoughts on “Maternity leave…take it or leave it…?

  1. I know exactly how you feel. My little one is 6 months old and I feel a very similar way to you but feel guilty to feel that way. I love her to bits and wouldn’t have it any other way but yes there is only so much you can explore around the area. When I left on maternity, I had a list of TV shows and films I wanted to catch up during these 12 months. How many have I ticked off? 0! But I know I am going to be heart broken when I go back but I also know it is the best for both of us. Happy mummy = happy family.


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