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transition from working to maternity leave

(23 Posts)
CitizenOscar Wed 12-Jun-13 21:12:29

Don't forget your hormones and anxiety levels might be all over the place too, and you've got a bit more time to think now so it'll be coming to the surface.

I'm on ML with DS2 and even though I'm super busy looking after him, trying to get ready for baby etc, I'm still emotionally volatile. Easy to burst into tears, want to stay in bed all the time.

If it's your first ML please try to enjoy some "you time" - it really is once in a lifetime but be kind to yourself if you don't feel great.

Some ideas:
- hair cut
- pedicure
- dentist
- massage
- read - books/magazines/papers
- cook nice dinners for you & DP
- batch cook if you want
- make playlist for birth or download books/podcasts for labour/afterwards
- meet friends for lunch/dinner/drinks
- go to cinema in the middle of the day - delicious!
- yoga
- box sets
- buy suitable snacks for postnatal/bf eg flapjacks, cereal bars
- see if there's a local bumps & babies group where you can meet other new/about to be mums
- swim
- go for coffee with the paper or a book
- call/email friends
- see what's around in your local area during the day, for now and for once baby is here - yoga/library sessions/talks/concerts/walks/groups/cinema

Just try to relax, nap, eat well & enjoy the peace.

rubyanddiamond Wed 12-Jun-13 11:25:28

Like laurielou I felt exactly the same first time round. It is weird stepping out of the workplace for the first time and not knowing what's going to come. You have the feeling that everything's about to change but you don't really know how. Leaving work is odd because you've done it every day for years and now all of a sudden you're not expected to, but there's a niggling worry that you won't be able to do it as well when you return. And you can't fill your time with things you might normally do with time off because you're heavily pregnant and don't have the energy!

Now I'm a couple of weeks off maternity leave with DC2 I'm looking forward to it much more smile I'm much more confident this time round, and I think that's because I don't have the same anxiety about what's going to happen.

PenelopeLane Wed 12-Jun-13 11:00:15

I had that a bit too at first when I was off work before DS was born (it was 5 weeks in the end). I found that little things that imposed structure on the week helped - it's sounds lame, but I did things like meet a friend for lunch every Wednesday, clean the bathroom on Fridays, and made little rules for myself in terms of what times I'd watch TV etc and what days I'd do things like go to the supermarket or library. Of course i didn't always stick to it, but having that sort of structure helped in terms of the days not merging together too badly.

Like I said it does sound a little lame put like that, but I ended up loving my time off before DS was born.

igirisu Wed 12-Jun-13 06:58:36

I loved my job and left for maternity leave 2 weeks ago, apart from walking into the small town I live in and mooching in the shops there is nothing else for me to do, I hate watching TV and I feel rubbish having done nothing all day. It's my due date today so as of tommorow I'm overdue, I feel a bit like I'm going mad. There's only so many times I can iron the babies clothes and socks!

Robotindisguise Wed 12-Jun-13 06:51:51

Oh yes, I did mounds of batch cooking while waiting for DD1 as well!

Robotindisguise Wed 12-Jun-13 06:51:24

Yes, I totally understand. I didn't find the waiting all that bad as I was very, very tired and in a lot of pain by the end of my time at work with DD1 - but after having the baby, I felt in freefall. Work provides a structure, and a purpose, and feedback, and adult conversation - and suddenly there's just you - and soon - you and the baby whom you don't really understand yet, and mountains of sodding laundry.

With DD1, I went out every day, Monday-Friday. I had a thing planned - baby group, post-natal course at the children's centre - whatever. It didn't take the whole day - often only an hour - but it got me out of the house and gave me adult conversation. By the time DD2 came along, I had adjusted and didn't need it - but it is a huge adjustment.

PassTheCremeEggs Wed 12-Jun-13 06:45:19

Make the most of it - and sleep as much as you can. I also cooked loads of food for the freezer for after the baby arrived when you won't have the time anymore... Seriously though, this is golden you time, you won't have this kind of alone time again for years!

hellohellohihi Wed 12-Jun-13 06:41:10

Do stuff in the evenings with your DP. spend the days reading, visiting your parents, mooching, getting a facial etc. I only had 2.5 weeks off which felt just right for me. Good luck and try to enjoy!

Mamabear12 Wed 12-Jun-13 06:33:02

Enjoy it while it lasts! Once baby is born u will never have time to yourself again!! smile I'm pregnant w number 2 and considering taking leave earlier this time around. It is you time and trust me, u will look back and wish u enjoyed it more! I plan to enjoy it more and get more done this time around smile we will keep our daughter in daycare.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Tue 11-Jun-13 22:35:58

It's a funny time, but do things that you enjoy, things that are indulgent. It could be a very long time before you get chance to do them again!

I had massages, met friends for coffee and cake, lounged around reading magazines and books, listening to my favourite music, had long baths, gentle walks..........oh it was bliss!

If this is your first pg, this really is a once in a lifetime period of time.

pinkr Tue 11-Jun-13 22:30:25

Another rescuer who's stopping in three Weeks and getting nervous as i'm not due till last week in August. Hope the weather is nice!

Cheffie100 Tue 11-Jun-13 22:14:25

Thanks for this. I have felt utterly glum and very teary and like I have no purpose at all. Makes you realise how much confidence work gives you. Here's to enjoying relaxing before babies arrive

Librarina Mon 13-May-13 22:05:34

I start my Mat leave tomorrow so watching this thread with interest. It feels weird to be going from busy person with a long commute and nice little outfits and a full diary to a heavily pregnant person whondoesntnneed to get up at any particular time, in stretchy trousers and flipflops with long days ahead of me.

I've made myself a list of things to do, almost entirely nice things, that I won't be able to do when baby is here. It includes massage, facial, toes painted, lunch out, cinema trip, batch cooking for freezer, baking for freezer, getting my winter coat dry cleaned!, having people visit me, planting pansies so I have something nice to look at when baby is here, sorting out my herb and spice drawer, reading books I want to, napping and volunteering at a biannual arts festival. Should keep me going for a few weeks I think!

Hope you find something you like!

terilou87 Mon 13-May-13 18:22:56

aww it will pass. i'm on maternity leave due to go back on 25th of this month and been on since august last year, enjoy the peace and quiet while it lasts grin

laurielou Mon 13-May-13 11:39:32

I felt exactly the same first time around. I felt quite frustrated too & as I felt physically great & wanted to do loads of stuff around the house, but knew that I just "wasn't allowed".

At times I wondered how on earth I was going to cope taking my planned 12 months off work. I actually thought I may be bored. Then DS arrived smile.

I'm going on maternity leave again in 2 weeks, & this time I shall make sure that I get some rest in, meet friends for lunch/coffee, enjoy some massages, all the things that seem totally un-doable in the first few heady months weeks of a newborn.

Try to make the most of this "me" time, you'll soon be busy enough.

Good luck!

NumberTwoDue Mon 13-May-13 09:00:54

I felt like that. I went from a busy events job in London to hanging round our new house in Bristol, where I didn't really know anyone or the area - before DD arrived, I used to write myself a little listy schedule thing each day because I found the idea of an empty day scary (and am a wee bit anal) including at least one "out the house" thing. Sounds a bit sad when you admit it.

Anyway, I am now a SAHM and having a fantastic time. It's hard at first and I think it takes everyone different times to adjust - for me, the first three or four months were difficult and hen I was suddenly enjoying my d more, working on little projects, baking and cooking loads of new things as well as going to loads of baby classes and meeting lovely people. As I say, everyone's different though and if you find that it's not for you after all, that's ok too. Give it some time would be my best advice and also enjoy these last days/weeks when it's just you and OH to cater for!

MortifiedAdams Mon 13-May-13 06:28:24

Haha I always envisaged id be Craft Mum and turns out its just not me. I spent two weeks off work before dd came along lying in...watching tv....wrapping christmas presents. It was so lovely. I just never got round to any of the 'projects' I had planned.

My SIL had eight weeks off before her EDD and redecorated the house!

craftycottontail Mon 13-May-13 06:19:48

Glad it's not just me! I've been working my way through a to do list so trying to keep focussed on chipping away at that.

Waiting for an earthquake is a really apt metaphor, hopefully mine is only 8 days away now!

Choccybaby Sun 12-May-13 22:54:58

I'm feeling exactly the same. Also been off for almost 2weeks now.
I found writing a list of little jobs I want to do each day helps put some purpose into each day. That and avoiding too much daytime TV, which only makes me feel worse

Jenijena Sun 12-May-13 19:45:55

Oh and lots of the fabric I bought to do interesting makes on maternity leave hasn't left the packet, 53 weeks later...

Jenijena Sun 12-May-13 19:44:53

It's a very odd time... I compared it to a coming earthquake... You know the landscape will be completely different after you've been knocked senseless, but you don't know exactly when it will happen. Suddenly a large bit of your life has gone (albeit temporarily) but you don't really know what's coming next. Give yourself time to recover.

i only had two weeks (technically annual leave) before due date - 3 weeks before he arrived - and made sure I made something to do out of the house everyday, which kept me sane-- ish--

smiler389 Sun 12-May-13 19:41:15

Watching with interest as a teacher 3 weeks away from starting maternity leave..normally have bouts of glumness in six week hols si no idea how I'll react...

craftycottontail Sun 12-May-13 19:39:09

I've been on maternity leave for 2 weeks now and have been feeling unexpectedly glum. I imagined that this would be a time in my life where I felt happy as have always secretly wished I could be a stay at home mum. I usually love being at home - baking, crafting, gardening etc.

Just wondered if this is common at this point in pregnancy? Is it just that I'm struggling with the transition from being busy and motivated with full time work, to being at home and feeling like I have no real purpose right now?

I'm hoping it's just a phase and as soon as the baby arrives it'll be different as there will be a point to all this time off!

It's not that I'm short of things to do (I've always found it easy to keep myself occupied), just feel a bit aimless. Anyone else struggling to make the transition from work to home?

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