Maternity Leave.... What is a girl to do?

  • by Katie Adamson-McMinn

Sat am my desk, feeling like a space hopper, finding out that I am actually wedged into my chair! Only 2 days to go and I start on maternity leave. Then the blind panic sets in. I have worked full time for 15 years with probably only a handful of days off sick and obviously the 4 weeks holiday each year. But nine months with no actual work…. What on earth am I going to do?

My friends tell me the time will fly by, but honestly I still have 2 weeks until baby is due and the house is spotless. The ‘nursery’ is ready and my bag is even packed and by the front door! Yes I’ve been making lists and ticking lists off for weeks while sat at my desk, so I’m super organised. Which by the way is sooo not me normally.

Surely even when baby arrives there isn’t that much to do each day, I have added half a dozen box sets to my watch list on Netflix (as I figured I may not be sleeping as much as I do now and I can breast feed and watch an episode of ‘Rookie’ to keep me awake.

I have my favourites added to my online shopping basket and yes there is my own body weight in chocolate! So what is a girl to do with all this time, Mum reckons she is going to get me colouring books, my aunt says I should learn to knit! Really I am 31 not 81.

I realise I am pregnant (you couldn’t mistake it, I am huge!) but how difficult can this be, surely babies sleep most of the time, right?

I am thinking daytime telly, plus I need a pedicure and my eye brows are growing at an alarming rate! But that’s only a couple of days of next week accounted for…., let me see 9 months, that’s roughly 270 days, which is 6,480 hours! Wow that’s a whole lot of online clothes shopping.

As I sit here pondering how I am going to release myself from the vice-like grip this chair has on my hips, what does the next 9 months hold for me. I know I can expect visits from the family but once they have seen my little bundle of joy I know they will disappear again. Of course I have health visitor visits and at some point soon I need to register baby’s arrival into this world, but none of this is seeming to eat into the 6,480 hours before I go back to work.

My one nightmare is what is a girl to wear? I have spent 48 weeks of every year for the last fifteen years being dressed for work, whether that is skirts, dresses or trousers they are all most definitely work clothes, and for the remaining 4 weeks each year 2 of those were spent on holiday were I mostly wore bikinis! What do you wear when you have nothing actually to do? It will be a few months before I can fit into any of my old weekend clothes, jeans tops and summer dresses, not like the size eight models in their four inch heels pushing the lasts pushchair in the glossy adverts in the baby magazines.  I am all for nice pictures after the birth, hair done, face on but there is no way I will loose half my body weight before I leave hospital. Even the thought of wearing heels for a few months brings me out in a cold sweat!  I know the pictures are supposed to be aspirational, but the last time I was a size eight I was eight!  I need Gok Wan right now to take me shopping for my new yummy mummy designer collection without the designer price tag.  I think a trip to Primark and New Look will be in order once I dare to leave the house, although just actually seeing my own feet will be a bonus. Oh now there is one luxury I am looking forward to once I have removed the small beach ball hiding in my womb, and that’s a bath!  I haven’t been able to have one for three months unless my other half was at home as I couldn’t safely get myself out of the bath. Just the joy of lying there with my Netflix on my iPad while I soak for an hour is something I will look forward to.  I wonder if he would bring me McDonald’s in the bath if I ask nicely.

Well the nice lady form HR is beckoning me into her office so I can sign my paperwork and get ready for the next nine months!


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