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Maternity leave freaking me out- please tell me i'm weird!

(13 Posts)
CheeseChomper Tue 11-Jan-11 14:11:20

I've been on maternity leave since New Year, awaiting arrival of first baby at the end of the month. I enjoyed my job, but i'm not bothered about not actually working at the moment especially, and the commute was really knackering me out tbh.

Trouble is, i'm sort of rattling around at home- getting loads of chores done and last minute baby bits/ washing so i'm busy enough, but it just feels, well, weird not actually having to do anything until the baby arrives. Daytime TV generally sucks, and I feel scared that when the little one arrives I'll be trapped in Daytime TV/ not getting dressed hell. I also feel like I should be doing important things and feel bad lazing around sad

Yesterday I spent all afternoon driving myself nuts looking at ideas for new careers/jobs, and getting stressed about it, when i'm not going to be returning to work until at least 2012, if at all, as I feel I should be actively contributing (even though I don't need to be) blush hmm (i'm obviously more of an uptight person than I thought!)

Please someone tell me that it's okay to flop around and read a book/ watch box sets/ Mumsnet all day without feeling guilty! DP comes home from work and asks me how my day is (there's no pressure or impetus from him btw) and I feel odd and a little guilty saying that I haven't actually done much!

How did you cope with going from working full time to being at home alone with baby all day? Any advice much appreciated as finding it hard to adjust...

Muser Tue 11-Jan-11 14:14:08

I go on maternity leave at the end of the month. I intend to do the following:

Drink tea
Eat biscuits
Watch movies because I doubt I'll get 2 hours peace and quiet for a while
Have baths, because I doubt I'll get 2 hours peace and quiet for a while!
Go for short walks just to leave the house
Eat some biscuits
Drink some more tea
Mooch to the local shops if I feel like it

Isn't that what maternity leave is for?

Deliaskis Tue 11-Jan-11 14:16:22

Well it sounds like this is exactly what maternity leave (pre-baby) is for - getting a little bit more organised, pottering around, relaxing, and having a bit of time for yourself, as people will tell you there will be precious little of that when baby arrives!

Make the most of it. I am jealous, I'm working as late as I can with baby number 1 (due Feb 19th) as I can only take 6 months and want as much as possible of that to be with the baby.

I am starting to take odd days of holiday though and that feels weird. I am still getting up at work time in the morning as I like this time with DH and I am not sleeping anyway so it seems pointless to stay in bed flumping around getting annoyed at not sleeping, might as well get up and have a bacon butty and a brew with DH and then snooze on the sofa later!

D

Shelbee Tue 11-Jan-11 14:20:05

I'm really glad to read this - I'm starting maternity leave in about 3 weeks and really, really can't wait, but a little voice in my head keeps on asking what on earth I'm going to do after being in a full time job for years and how I will cope being at home once the baby arrives! I'm pleased that at least one other person is feeling funny about it!

I think I am starting to realise that a lot of my drive and self-esteem is tied up in my job. I am a bit scared of rattling around the house during maternity leave, so am writing lists of people who I know will be around and able to meet up and chores that I have meant to get done for ages, in the hope that I have enough reasons to get out and about and fill my time!

GruffalosGirl Tue 11-Jan-11 14:20:29

I was like this on my maternity leave last time and kept looking for things to do. I ended up sorting all our photo's into albums and other little jobs.

Everyone told me to sleep but i didn't feel tired. I wish I'd made myself though while I had the chance. This time round I intend to sleep, watch TV, read and mumsnet and maybe cook some meals to freeze and sort the babyclothes.

Make the most of doing as little as possible. You'll never have a chance like this again.

DirtyMartini Tue 11-Jan-11 14:22:28

Please, for all of us ... take the chance to do sod all

CheeseChomper Tue 11-Jan-11 14:28:01

Thanks all, I know deep down that it's okay to not do much, but I think I (and lots of women in society in general) have been conditioned to 'get a career' and when you stop working it takes time to adjust- like Shelbee I didn't realise that perhaps my sense of 'me' has been tied up in working, which is odd as although I like my job, it certainly wasn't the career I set out to do and I don't love it!

Have been getting up with DP too as start feeling like a student again laying in too much! grin Think what I'll do is use the mornings for chores and getting stuff done, and then spend the afternoon relaxing (guilt free!)

HeroShrew Tue 11-Jan-11 14:31:32

I had the major guilts when I started mat leave. I even made lists of what I'd achieved to show DP when he got home hmm and then I learned to chill the fuck out.

What you're doing now (i.e. not much) is the best and most important thing you can do (well.. that and some chuff massage)

When the baby first arrives, don't put pressure on yourself to fill your day with anything other than being with your new being

A little while down the line, just make sure that you get out and go to baby groups, see old friends and accept all offers of babysitting so you can keep one eye on your 'grown-up' interests (keeping up to date with your career area, carrying on a hobby, or even just getting out to the flicks with DP)

all the best grin

Zipitydoda Tue 11-Jan-11 14:46:39

This is the last time in your life (or certainly for an unforeseeably long time) that you will have time purely for yourself. It's hard to appreciate until it's gone but try and be utterly selfish and lazy and slobby. Don't look at a clock all day because soon you may be ruled by timings ....... For baby sleep time, feed time, playtime, time to squeeze in the chores ....... Note no 'me' time! I am expecting #3 and didn't have Pre-baby leave with DS1 as he was 10 days early and I had just stopped work. Now he is at school, DS2 at nursery in morning but I am ruled by timing and having to be in certain places by certain times with particular items; swimming kit, beaver uniform, fruit, snacks and it is a constant treadmill. I am currently so tired I can't see straight and have to walk up to school in a mo, in the rain, dragging DS2 to collect DS1 - would love to be able to be a sleepy slob! Last time that happened was over 6 years ago!
Having said all that I do also LOVE it all....... Enough to want 3. I just need a nap more! So Please have one for me!!!
NB hormones have a lot to do with your nesting; I was steam cleaning the inside of the kitchen cupboards in the evenings of the week before DS1 came; they weren't really dirty!

frikadela Wed 12-Jan-11 01:07:37

OMG I remember it well. I work in care so had to go on maternity leave 2 months before due date cos my back just couldnt handle the lifting etc anymore.

I remember watching loads of films and the huge freezer was stocked to the very top with nothing but tupperware containers of everything I cooked grin

Enjoy it while you can cos its theres no such thing as me time when LO comes.

Scruffyhound Wed 12-Jan-11 11:21:29

Dont be too hard on your self. I lost my job about 7+ months ago (never been out of work since I was 15 now 33) and just after I found out I was pregnant I have been looking for jobs and trying to get one since then and no one wants a preggers woman. I was so bored but then had so much other stuff going on it was crazy! I have a 5yrs old DS (which was with my ex husband) and im now 28 weeks with 2nd (with my DP of 3 yrs). With DS I was off work for materninty leave but I had dissloacated my knee as well so I found it really hard as could not get about at all my leg was in a cast for 6 weeks then loads of painful physio. This pregnancy is ok so far just backache and looking after DS housework and keeping the house running and keeping up with a property I own and rent out at a loss sad so me and DP can be together. Maybe take up a hobby I have been making makeup and trying to get some information together to run my own buisness. Or maybe a short course to do from home to maybe help with your next career move? But lets face it most days you will not feel like all of those things. And you will have no time to your self once LO arrives so enjoy going for a coffee or out to meet friends or somewhere without thinking have I checked the nappy? Do I have milk? Do I have thier fav toy? Do I have my bag full of all the things I need before you go out of the front door! grin

Tokyotwist Wed 12-Jan-11 14:03:54

Find a good baby/toddler group in your area and make friends with the mums in a similar situation. This was a life saver for me.

I've kept in touch with a few of the ladies from my group and 2+ years on I can't imagine what I'd have done without them.

ChippingIn Wed 12-Jan-11 14:13:34

I think the sudden adjustment can be very hard, but try to wind down into enjoying it. Daytime TV is dire, but the longer you are home the less dire it is - funny how that works grin

Shop for things you might like when the baby gets here (box sets, especially if you are going to BF), take up a new hobby (cross stitch, knitting - something easy to do while sitting), catch up with friends, batch cook & freeze, sort out the linen cupboard... I'm sure there are loads of things you can do

However, resting is the best thing you can do for you and baby, with a little light yoga thrown in!

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