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Making the transition - full time work to maternity leave - oh god it will be happening soon

(8 Posts)
SquealyB Thu 29-Nov-12 15:57:49

I am due in Jan. 2013 and today I am packing up my office. I usually supervise a junior and the person who is covering that part of my job needs my nice big two person office and it makes sense to make the move now for a number of reasons I won't bore you with.

My bosses spoke to me this morning about handovers of work pre-Christmas (3 weeks!!) as the plan is that I will not have too much active client work to do in those few days before I head off on maternity leave in January.

Maternity leave will be the first time in 7 years I will not be working full time. I work in a full on job, which I kind of love and it is a big part of my identity. Despite how thrilled I am to be having a baby it is really hard to imagine being totally disconnected from it for over 7 months (will be back at work in mid-August).

Guess it is sinking in now that this is all really happening and I am so excited about the next but also a bit scared too!! Anyone out there got any advice on how to cope with all these mixed emotions???

sushidave Thu 29-Nov-12 16:31:15

I don't have any answers, just a bit of empathy. I'm due Jan 2013 too but due to preg complications I was suddenly signed off last week: bit of a shocker as I went from a meeting to a routine check to admission to hospital - eek!

One of the hardest things about last week was the realisation that it was game over for work for around 9 months. I've never not worked. Like you, my job is a major part of my identity and mixed up in all this was the guilt of dumping work on colleagues, letting students down etc.

I'm able to do a bit of finishing off from home, and my wonderful colleagues keep reminding me that in the grand scheme, mat leave really isn't very much time out. What I've also found useful are comments that working whilst having kids leads you to be much more productive, put up with less crap, and doubt your ambitions less - i think working parents just have less time for deliberation and just go for it!

Good luck!

Scroobius Thu 29-Nov-12 16:35:51

I can't even empathise tbh as I can't wait for maternity leave to get out of this soul destroying job and hopefully onto a better career path after leave BUT just to say you're scared about being completely disconnected; you don't have to be, I'm fairly sure there's some rule about you being able to have so many 'keeping in touch' days without losing maternity rights so you don't have to completely leave work for 9 months/however long you are taking off.

PricklyPickle Thu 29-Nov-12 20:51:41

I can really empathise. I've just got home from my last day of work for over a year. I love my job and its a big part of who I am. My colleagues made a big fuss of me today which makes me think I'll miss it even more.

I know it sounds big-headed but I think I'm pretty good at my job. I've been trying to take the view that I know nothing about being someones mum, so this is a new challenge, just like starting a new job from the beginning.

I have over a month to go until I'm due though and I know I'll go crazy until then unless I keep busy. I'm slightly nervous about letting my brain go to sleep too, so I'm going to go to the library tomorrow to find a hobby, I'm also going for a swim. I want to keep an active body and mind for as long as possible. or just sit on the sofa and eat chocolate buttons for a week

Marmiteisyummy Thu 29-Nov-12 21:09:57

For a lot of women, me included, having a baby changes the way you think.
I have a professional career, doctor, so 5 years uni followed by 8 years training and several years since. I was hugely ambitious and, I like to think, good at my job.

DS was born 2.5 years ago and the drive I had never came back. BUT I don't miss it, not at all. I still work, but part time. Being a mum is so much more important and overwhelming than I could have expected, it's just amazing.
I still work hard and try my best to be as good as I can at my job, but it's more of a job now and less of the thing that makes me who I am, iykwim.

The start of mat leave is very hard. I finished at 37 weeks but went 2 weeks over so 5 weeks to pass the time. Wish I'd done more lazing about and sleeping instead of stressing about finding something to do! When the baby arrives, you won't have time to think, you'll just function on a basic level for a while. Then you'll either be desperate to get back, or, like me, struggle to leave the most perfect thing that ever existed (your own child).

What I'm saying in a rather long winded way, is that priorities change and how you feel will change. Try to embrace it. It's very, very wonderful.
Good luck!

SquealyB Fri 30-Nov-12 11:23:01

Scoobuius sorrry to hear about your job. Hope your next move work out better for you.

Thanks for the all comments.......hard to admit that I am feeling apprehensive about something I am also looking forward to a lot. Good to know I am not the only one who feels like this.

Prickly your colleagues sound lovely. Good idea on the start of mat. leave, I am planning on long walks with the pooch and some swimming too.

Marmite that is a very fair point, I am sure motherhood will change me somewhat and I am trying to keep an open mind about things.

SquealyB Fri 30-Nov-12 11:23:52

Sushi - hope you are feeling well.....that must have been a shock to the system finishing early.

milkyjo Fri 30-Nov-12 15:09:01

You really are not having a lot of time off and I'm sure you'll get back into it in August. You will have more important things to worry about at home, although I must say the last couple of months do make you want to go back to work and speak to adults in an adult environment about non-baby related issues. I went back to work after a year for a break! I have to have lots of skills in my job and I really worried about losing them all and starting again - it was like riding a bicycle, I just got back on and started peddling - with a few updates and signing off!

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