So here's a blog from me from maternity leave. This came to me as I was running at 7am this morning. My baby son was curled up asleep whilst his granny watched over him. The hour between 7-8 has now become the only real time I get to myself, and a few days a week I choose to spend it running. Don't get me wrong I'm so exhausted when I start, but by the end, I have boundless energy for a few hours, which is great when you have an 11 week old baby to entertain.
Having worked solidly in PR since I left university at 21, it's safe to say that planning to take a 'break' and go on maternity leave definitely had me wondering what it would be like and I was quite nervous. I didn't realise how having that daily routine of seeing clients, the buzz of new business wins (and the agony of losses) was pretty much at the core of everything I had done for the last 14 years.
The truth is however that maternity leave and having a baby is already the best (and hardest) thing I have ever done. And thanks to the wonders of WhatsApp, I manage to get kept up to speed on all the work gossip. Inevitably, this has led me to think recently about when I will venture back to work next year. Whilst I've been thinking about the same things other new mums do (balancing childcare / who will do the drop off and pick up!) I already know maternity leave has changed me, and I think this means I'll be better at my job.
As a healthy and fit 35 year old, my birth should of been straight forward. The reality is it wasn't. I was diagnosed with preeclampsia at 37 weeks and was effectively put on lock down by the hospital. What followed then was 12 very difficult days. There were brief glimpses of joy and my husband and I had to cling on to that otherwise our feelings would of engulfed us and made us utterly useless. However, after 12 very long, difficult and life changing days we eventually ventured home with our baby boy, and then our new life began. Everything they say is true, it's exhausting but amazing. I don't actually remember what life was like before our son arrived, it's like he has always been there.
You don't go through something so difficult without changing in some way. I've definitely changed, but I prefer the person I am now, and I wouldn't go back to how I was. So what has all of this taught me already in preparation for my eventual return to the workforce next year?
1. Your best laid plans may not work out: and that's fine, life isn't perfect. Sometime you need to roll with the punches and just get on with it. However, if you give everything your all, no one can take that away from you.
2. Multitasking is everything:
I honestly thought I was quite good at this before, but I clearly wasn't. I say this as someone who is writing this blog whilst my son sleeps on my chest! I now know I can genuinely do several things at once, or give me an hour and I can do double what I did before I had my son.
3. You can still get things done with 4 hours sleep: give me five hours sleep and I feel like I've been to a spa these days. However, even I have surprised myself at how much I can function on 3 -4 hours sleep. Primarily because there is no other option, you have to just keep going!
4. Everything will probably be ok:
You're not going to win everything, especially pitches (who does) but as long as you're you and you try the best you can at everything, no one can ask for any more.
So these are some new motherhood ramblings from me. I don't expect everyone to agree with me but I wanted to share my thoughts. Until next time..