In Maternity Leave Limbo

From the minute I found out I was pregnant I could not wait for maternity leave to start. I haven’t exactly been happy in my job for various reasons and the thought of having a ‘break’ and focusing my attention on a new chapter and a new challenge is what kept me going for the last 9 months.

I decided to take two weeks annual leave ahead of two weeks of maternity leave before my due date, giving me a potential four weeks off before baby was due to arrive. Four weeks seems self-indulgent, I know, but since I started working I’ve never had more than two weeks off at a time and I knew that this, if baby allows, would be the only chance I get to really switch off from work and take some time for myself.

I’m into week three of my time off and don’t get me wrong, it’s been lovely and there’s no way I’d manage still being in work at this point, but there’s a strange side to maternity leave which I didn’t quite expect!

If I weren’t pregnant and I had four weeks off, I’d be away on holiday, I’d be off shopping, I’d be knee deep in paint decorating the house. And that’s what I hadn’t quite got my head around for maternity leave… I’m too pregnant to do all of the above.

I’ve spent time catching up with friends and enjoying days out with my parents which has been really lovely, but there’s only so much of this you can do. Many of my friends who are off work are on maternity leave but have been in the same limbo as me, not able to make firm plans in case their baby arrived.

I’ve packed the hospital bag, arranged the changing unit drawers, done all of my baby whites washing, and done a few non-baby bits in the house. I know there’s more to do – cleaning, batch cooking and even finishing off the nursery I’ve been obsessed with for the past 9 months – but I just don’t feel like doing any of it. Surely a sign that nesting hasn’t set in therefore baby won’t be arriving any time soon?

I’m good in my own company and can’t remember the last time I was bored – I still wouldn’t say I’m bored but every time I find myself sitting on the couch for more than an hour I get the fear that I’m not making the most of maternity leave and this precious time before baby arrives. But the more pressure I put on myself to ‘make the most of it’ the more I can’t figure out how I go about doing that. Other than sleep, what am I going to miss when the baby is here, and how much will I care if I haven’t done it?

I even posted this Instagram image the other day talking about how I needed to make the most of the next couple of weeks, when I’d experienced some pain for the first time and it suddenly hit home that bump would become baby very soon, and I was actually going to miss having my baby wriggling around in there. But how do you make the most of that feeling before it’s too late?!

maternity-selfie

The lovely Wendy from Naptime Natter got it right in her post about the struggles of the heavily pregnant when she said that maternity leave is about us spending days/weeks just waiting to be in pain. Waiting for that first period-esque pain or back ache that could be the start of labour.

It’s such a strange time of feeling excited yet nervous, relaxed yet tired, prepared yet so unprepared, yourself but not yourself. I’m looking forward to meeting our baby but I don’t feel desperate for them to come now (as so many people seem to feel), in fact I still can’t quite get my head around the fact that I will soon be having a baby, despite this being the only reason I’m off work and even writing this post! It’s maternity leave limbo, that’s the only way I can describe it.

Did anyone else have these feelings? How did you ‘make the most’ of your maternity leave before the baby arrived, and was it a time you enjoyed? I’d love to know if I’m over thinking this or not!

Diary of an imperfect mum
Pink Pear Bear

0 thoughts on “In Maternity Leave Limbo

  1. I remember feeling like this! I went on maternity leave 3 weeks before my due date, and had a long list of things I was going to do. I was on my lounge floor making curtains for the nursery at 39 weeks pregnant – that was the moment I realised I was too pregnant for most of the stuff I had wanted to do. Even walking into town for lunch with friends was difficult (there was a heat wave going on though) and I spent a lot of time on my own, feeling miserable because I was hot and swollen. I then went overdue!! (Not to alarm you!) But the day I was induced was a funny one as I wasn’t expecting it and I suddenly didn’t feel ready even I had been waiting for that moment for almost 5 weeks. I would recommend doing stuff that you won’t be able to do once baby is here – read a book or go to the cinema or have your nails done! Even just napping if you need to. Enjoy and I hope bubs doesn’t keep you waiting too long #ablogginggoodtime

    1. Yes this is exactly how I’m feeling! That I’m so unprepared for it to happen, yet have 4 weeks to do nothing but prepare myself! Good advice, in fact I’ve just booked to get my nails done tomorrow 🙂 thank you for the comment! X

  2. Since Amelia was late I ended up having about six week off! I was so bored of being home after 2 and now with another one it’s still so boring with only babies to talk to and the same 4 walls to look at. I can’t wait to take them places and actually let them both run around during the day #ablogginggoodtime

    1. Ha my Mum said exactly the same thing about school holidays (she was also a teacher)! Thanks very much for the comment 🙂 xxx

  3. i had 2 weeks off before due date then another 2 weeks after that! in those first few weeks i had super lie in, watched lots of rubbish (and some good ones) films on Netflix,cooked a load of food to freeze and generally just tried to relax. i know exactly what you mean about not wanting to waste it though. Sitting and chilling doesn’t mean you are though, this is the best thing to do! Relax,relax, relax! do all the things you don’t get to when you are at work and don’t feel guilty. This is your time! 🙂 Exciting times ahead! xx #bigpinklink

  4. Yes, I felt very much like this with my first maternity leave! I couldn’t do the things I would have normally enjoyed with having time to myself, as I was too big, and too uncomfortable. And I think you’ve summed it up perfectly, where you say that you feel excited, but frightened, prepared, but not really-it really is the strangest time, isn’t it. You have absolutely no idea what any of it will be like-the labour, the feeling of meeting your baby for the first time, it’s all so overwhelming! But I’m sure absolutely everyone must feel like this. I hope that you can enjoy the remainder of your time off, as best you can, and that you aren’t kept waiting too long after your due date (because the constant ‘is the baby here yet?’ texts, actually make you want to kill someone…!!) x
    #bigpinklink

    1. Good to know I’m not the only one who felt like this! Baby has actually arrived early since this post, so all of these feelings have now been replaced by a set of very different ones! X

  5. I think at this point youre just exhausted and I was the same I kind of just wanted to whale it up and do nothing. then randomly one morning i got up cleaned the house, made lasanga cake and pudding for 12, bent down to pick food out of the oven and my waters broke…. random day of energy!
    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime

    1. Haha whale it up! I’ve heard a lot of people have those crazy nesting days right before they go, it’s so strange! X

  6. I started maternity leave when I was 5 months pregnant due to health issues and placed on bed rest
    … I had no idea what to do with myself and often dreamed of being back in work which was unusual… There’s so much time off but yet you can’t do anything! #bigpinklink

    Jordanne || Thelifeofaglasgowgirl.co.uk

  7. I wish my leave was like this…I did not have such an experience….I saw a video posted on Facebook this morning (mentioned in my post) and was inspired to share my story.
    Please check out my latest blog post. It focuses on the lack of support for paid maternity and paternity leave in America. I provide my own story with some useful resources and information on paid and unpaid maternity leave and would love your feedback! This is a topic that I am very passionate about and I hope this comes through in my writing.

    https://aladyhoodjourney.wordpress.com/2016/12/05/maternity-leave-in-america-the-story-of-the-struggling-mother/

    Great post!

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