Today, I have gone on a run, read a book, listened to a parenting podcast, played worship piano music, and napped. All while holding and staring at my beautiful baby. This is what an ideal maternity leave should look like for me. For somebody else, it may be completely different, but these are some of the ingredients of my perfect day.
The first part of my maternity leave, about the first month, was about rest because I was physically recuperating. That part was hard for me, because I was literally stuck in bed for many days. But it was a necessary part of my recovery, and I’m grateful I gave myself that time.
Now, as I get into my second month of maternity leave, the rest is a more emotional and mental. I have nothing I have to do right now, and I’m still not mentally and emotionally recovered yet. I’m in the “baby fog” still. I can’t go back to work for at least one more month, depending on our daycare situation.
Sure, I have responsibilities. I mean, I have a brand new baby at home which is a ton of responsibility in itself. I have responsibilities with older kids and at my church, but it is all very laid-back at this point. People are giving me space, intentionally, to relax. And I have no idea what to do with myself.
So for the rest of this maternity leave, which will be at least six more weeks, as I bond with my baby, I want to rediscover some of my passions. I want to find out what really fills me up. Because when I go back to work this time with three young kids instead of two, at a job that is new and uncertain, I am going to need to know what fills me up. I am going to need to know how to take care of myself, and make no apologies for it. Self-care is a necessity for me at this stage in my life, not an option. Perhaps, it’s a necessity in every state of life. But for me, at this stage of life when I am full-on busy with my kids all day and sometimes all night, I have got to figure this out now. I think it will be the most relaxing assignment of my life.
To see how I use my maternity leave to work on my nutrition, check out this post: My Postpartum Whole 30.
To hear how this maternity leave helped me rediscover my passion for teaching, follow my VIPKID online teaching posts, starting with this one!