From today for a full year, I will be a full time mama. It hasn't yet quite sunk in, maybe it'll happen next week when I don't actually go to work. For now, there's a mixture of feelings about it all. I know I'll miss my work - my wonderful colleagues, the banter, the serious discussions too of how to best make a difference. That's the beauty of working in the voluntary sector, everyone is in it for the cause ultimately and passionate about what they do and how they do it. Even for all the frustration there can be, it never gets boring and it's a great environment to be in.
I also remember very well my last maternity leave, which was shorter. Back then, motherhood hit me like a sledgehammer. My life change beyond recognition and as much as I adored my beautiful daughter, loved her every cell, the adaptation to life as a parent wasn't an easy ride. I longed to be back at work, for very profane reasons: to be able to manage my time according to mostly my priorities, to be able to drink a cup of hot tea, go to the loo by myself, to feel a sense of achievement at the end of the day rather than the never ending repetition of tasks without immediate purpose.
However, returning to work after just 6 months also meant additional strains: a baby who wasn't ready for childcare yet, the constant rush, the juggling of parenting and working and feeling like neither was done as it should have been. Only slowly a balance emerged, only to be thrown off course again. So now, I'm more than ready to embrace being a full time mama because I'm tired. Very tired. Pregnancy tired but more than that, working mum tired. While I worry that I may feel a bit isolated, a bit lonely, a bit without proper purpose, I embrace this time where I hope not to feel pulled into three directions at once without ever getting any sense of balance. And I know the time will pass very quickly, so I'm determined to make the best of it.
I wouldn't even mind going overdue again this time, more time for that longed for balance that will surely be overthrown once a newborn is thrown into the equation.
Finally, I'm getting ready for baby. Cubling and I went shopping and she was loving it. I was glad to get it done, so as to feel a bit more prepared but I also always worry about whether it's the right thing to shop for baby, because, you know, one never knows. But that's a different story.
Time now to tackle the ole to do list and get this place ready. Not just for baby, but for all of us.