To you who thinks that being on maternity leave with a young baby is like being on vacation
Written by Nadia Couture
This post is for you, who tells me (or at least thinks) that I have time to get everything done since I am on maternity leave. LET ME STOP YOU RIGHT THERE!
“Yes, but you have time while the baby sleeps.”
I’ll let you in on something.
The baby wakes up at 7 am. I get up and right away, it’s time to give her the bottle. Then we eat breakfast. It’s already 9:30, baby’s nap time. She goes to sleep easily (I am lucky this time, YIPEE!)
A TYPICAL DAY OF MATERNITY LEAVE
I start with a “load” of baby bottles, if not I won’t make it through the day.
Baby starts crying (from a toothache, a bad dream or who knows what)! I have to stop what I am doing to go to her room. Then she goes back to sleep, so I can go back to what I had started…
Thirty minutes later (because YES, baby does not sleep the same amount of time each nap), baby has finished napping. I take care of baby for a while, settle them in their Bumbo seat on the counter, while I make purees, since baby has started eating. I wash the dishes I used, baby throws their toys, I pick them up. She does not want to stay seated anymore; I move her somewhere else.
So there you have it—what I would have normally washed in 5 minutes took me 15.
(Even as I am writing this article, I have to stop every few sentences because baby is grumpy today.)
DURING MY “VACATION”, BABY’S THE BOSS
When you show up at my house, please do not judge the state of my cleaning and, more importantly, do not tell me I look tired. Either I am, either I am simply not wearing makeup and haven’t taken time to look more presentable. Some days I have time to do 10 things on my list and some other days I barely have time to finish one.
Because while I’m “on vacation”, baby’s the boss. My job is to be a full-time mum, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and to meet all my baby’s needs. So, there’s a chance that I don’t have time to get anything else done during the day because life goes by too fast and I want to make the most of it.
So, to you who says that I’m at home, that I would have time to do everything, I tell you NO, I DO NOT. Sometimes I also get fed up of staying cooped up at home, so I have to go out, see people and have conversations with people other than my 6-month-old baby.
Let me be the mother and the woman that I want to be during my “vacation” and let me do my chores at the speed that I want, and that baby allows me to do.
This post was translated from French to English by:
Isabelle, 24 years old. I’m an easy-going girl; quick-witted and a devoted fan of puns. As much as I enjoy staying home binge-watching series and reading novels, I also love traveling and discovering new things.
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