I’m currently 37weeks pregnant and I finish work in my 38th week anniversary. The past few weeks I’ve taken it a week at a time and I think I have one more week left in me. I’d love to be at home now relaxing but I want as much time with my baby after the birth as possible.
I can’t afford to stop working after having my children so I know I’ll be returning to work. I’ll be going back part time this time (I went back full time after my first as I intended to have another baby quite quickly). I learned a number of things with my first baby and with my first maternity leave so I hope I’ll be able to make it through with more confidence this time.
1. I’m expecting to be terrified again.
When I gave birth to my little boy I loved him straight away but there was an anxiety that I wasn’t expecting. It seems that almost anything you do caries a risk factor for SIDS. No parent wants that and so finding tha balance between advice and what works is nerve racking. I think the anxiety is just a form of mothers worry as I still have it now to some extent. I’m hoping that I can enjoy the moment more this time around knowing that this anxiety is coming.
2. I am going to fight back on people that question my decisions more… especially on breastfeeding.
As a first time mother I was paranoid I would turn into someone who became so over protective that I would hold my baby back. Or even become so different that my friends and family didn’t recognise me any more. I really tried hard to strike a balance but I still feel like I was misunderstood and it left me feeling lonely sometimes. There is no shortage of advice out there for new mothers but it is amazing how many people take offense if you don’t agree. It’s almost like you are treated as ungrateful if you say “thank you but I don’t think that applies to me/my baby”. The biggest issue I had was from people who didn’t understand breastfeeding. I exclusively breastfed my boy and to begin with it wasn’t easy. I enjoyed doing it and despite the sacrifice of having less me time as I needed to be close to my boy I felt it was worth it.
Others would say that I needed to get out more. When I explained that I could manage an expression or two as a break away from him (he fed frequently) I wouldn’t be in a position to leave him for too long as my milk production would suffer. This would make me dread leaving him for a long time, not because I didn’t want to let my hair down, but because I knew I would have almost a week of getting my routine back and it just seemed too arduous. It loomed over me so I could never really enjoy myself. Maybe I’m just not as milky as some mum’s. I’m ok with it though. I’ll get to have plenty of party time in the future.
Some people do get offended by this and their comments to convince me to give my baby a bottle instead grate a little. So on that note I’m going to start telling people they are being insulting. If they are taken aback then hopefully they will think about what they have said. Being a mummy is hard enough without having your judgements questions so frequently.
3. I’m going to keep myself challenged
At the end of my last maternity leave I had a great routine going. I had groups I visited with my boy and I felt in top of my life and how my family was working. It took me some time to get to that point as I lacked early confidence to get out and about. I know I can do it now so I’m going to be a busy bee. This isn’t for everyone though. I’m the type of person that likes to be doing things and having a varied day. It keeps me mentally challenged and this keeps me happier as a person.
4. I’m going to accept help from more people.
There is often a flood of people who want to help out when your baby is born. This can be overwhelming. I am quite independent and part of me resists help as I see the constant offer of help as someone saying “you aren’t coping very well”. I dig my heels in and say, no I’m just fine.
The truth is, helping me out just means they get to spend a bit more time with my utterly amazing and charming baby…I mean who wouldn’t? As long as I get enough mummy time, why not let others share in my joy. On the plus side it might even mean less ironing for me to do as well. I should make a list of jobs now.
5. I’m going to be generally more confident
I know going from one child to two and it will be a bit of a shock, but hey I’m going to handle it, just like I handle everything.
I might look back on this post in a year to see how I did. What would be on your list?