The Unspoken Phases of Maternity Leave

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Stage 1: Housewife Soft Life Here I come!

I still clearly remember counting down to my last day of work. I was so tired that I started toying around with the idea of not going back to work at all. I would tell my husband I just want to stay home and take care of our child. I was so ready to just wake up with no alarm going off, which I did for the first 2 weeks before giving birth. I was exhausted and heavy, but I thoroughly enjoyed every single day of those 2 weeks. I woke up when I wanted to, I went shopping, watched shows and decorated our home for fun. I thought to myself; I could get used to this. After Anaishe’s arrival, I was still feeling good about maternity leave. Even though I was in physical pain, I didn’t have to worry about a lot of things around the house as I had all hands on deck.

Stage 2: What did I sign up for?

It was around the 5-month mark that I felt a shift in my mood. Everyone was gone; it was just us 3. We had created new routines and at this point we were all used to them. I felt so empty and useless regardless of all the things that filled my day; cleaning, laundry, playing with Anaishe, and weekends out with family. The weather was good then, so Anaishe & I started going for walks. Sometimes we would go shopping together which was fun but still not enough. The feeling of wanting to go back to work was starting to creep in but I pushed it away. I felt like I was ungrateful. How can I be granted 12-18 months to stay with my child and halfway through I want to go back to work. HOW DARE I!! I gave myself some time to see if this feeling will go away but it never did. At this point I knew for sure that I wanted to go back to work at the year mark.

Stage 3: Am I really going back?

As I was getting closer to my return date, I was having second thoughts and guilt started to creep in. Part of these feelings were caused by the fact that I was returning to work 2 weeks before her start date of day care. On top of that, on her 1st birthday, I was going to be at work and my husband had to be out of town for work as it was a work day. To this day, I still can’t explain to you why I felt this way, when I was 100% sure that she would be in good hands and will still have a good time.

Stage 4: I’m back!

The morning of my return to work is still fresh in my mind. I remember it so well like it was yesterday. It felt like the first day of school for a new comer or better yet; first day of a new job. The only difference was that I already knew everybody. Again, I was putting pressure on myself, wondering if I still remember how to do my job. After that first day, I was fine and looking forward to the next day. Being back to a solid routine has been a game changer. I mentally and physically feel so good. At the moment, I just feel so content which is something I haven’t felt in a while, and I never want this feeling to go away. I understand that life is not all roses but right now, I’m going to smell the roses and enjoy these moments.

I’m sharing this because I wish someone had told me that I will experience a roller-coaster of emotions and it’s part of the package deal. You might also be like me; ready to drop off that sweet baby at grandma’s or daycare to go back to work and that’s OK! You are not neglecting your child. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to invest in other areas of your life that are not motherhood. I believe in taking care of me first to be a better contributing member of my family.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Shazia Awan-Hughes says:

    So good!


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