What I Miss About Maternity Leave
On a regular basis I am beyond thankful that I live in a country that grants time off after you’ve had a baby. I read about women who have to go back to work weeks after giving birth and I wonder how they do it. They aren’t even given the time to heal physically let alone time to bond with their baby and emotionally prepare themselves for returning to the work world.
I loved every second of my maternity leave and I really struggled when it came to an end. Never has a year of my life flown by so fast. I loved spending time with my babies, I loved the routines of our day, I loved the classes we went to and the people we met. I miss those two short years of my life like you wouldn’t imagine.
The fact that I didn’t have to worry about heading out to work every day made that time with my babies that much sweeter but there is so much about that first year with each of them that I miss.
We had so much time together. Yes the days flew by but every second of those days were spent with them. Having time alone helped me get to know them. Learn every little detail about their beautiful little personalities. I wish I would have appreciated that time a little more and spent less time worrying about the messy house and what we were having for dinner.
Mum & Baby classes:
Our weekly routine included two to three days of mummy and me classes. Infant Massage, Mother Goose, Move & Groove and Toddler Time were just some of the classes that we went to on a regular basis. That’s not including the special event days at our favourite Early Years Centre where we celebrated Christmas by making gingerbread men and Easter by painting colourful eggs. We had fun. They socialized, I socialized. We looked forward to it every single week and rarely did we miss it.
Mum & Baby classes weren’t the only things we were doing. We went swimming, we went to the movies thanks to Stars and Strollers, we went on nature walks at some of the local parks and visited the library often, we visited the kid’s great-grandparents once a week for lunch. Every day was a new adventure and we loved every second of it.
When my babies were born, none of my friends had kids which meant a change to some of my relationships. We just weren’t walking the same path in those days. Those Mum & Baby classes were just as important for me as they were for the kids. I met other mothers who were living the same life as I was. I will never forget the mum who picked up my receiving blanket off the floor and gave me such an understanding smile when breastfeeding was getting the best of me. We chatted for at least an hour and I left feeling less ready to give up and more prepared to face the struggle. Those mothers were just what I needed and now that my life doesn’t include those weekly trips anymore I miss them.
It all flew by in the blink of an eye. It was a magical time filled with love, laughter and so much fun. It was two years filled with some of my best memories and I am so thankful that I got to have that time with them. Living here where a year of paid maternity leave is so normal it’s easy to take it for granted.
My message to the mothers out there who are currently on maternity leave is to take it one day at a time, enjoy your babies while they are babies and don’t spend a moment worrying about how clean your house is.