The End Of Maternity Leave
In a few short days I return to work for the first time since giving birth to Rose. I have taken nine months maternity leave to be with Rose and I’m so glad to have had a long stretch of time bonding with her and getting to grips with motherhood. The first few months of her life were a bit of a blur as I got used to having a newborn and got to grips with breastfeeding. I can’t quite believe she is now eight months old. She’s a pure delight and is really filling out now! She’s always been a good sleeper and eater, which I think has made parenthood pretty easy for Phill and I. It’s also meant I’ve been able to enjoy my maternity leave, getting out and about loads. I’d go mad if I spent every day in the house!
From baby groups and coffee dates with friends to our first family holiday to Lanzarote, I feel like I’ve had a very memorable maternity leave. I’ve enjoyed spending quality time with friends and family. Getting out of the house has made motherhood easier for me, and it’s a joy to see the people I love interacting with Rose. Whilst Rose was a summer baby (born at the end of August) most of my maternity leave has been in winter months but that hasn’t stopped us getting outside. Whether I take her out shopping in the pram or for a walk around the park in the baby carrier, she loves the change of scenery and having a nosey around her. She was in her element on holiday, being pushed around in the buggy and playing in the pool.
Willow Lane Changes
Aside from mummy/daughter things, I’ve also spent time thinking about my blog and my full-time job as a marketer. Whilst some days you don’t get a minute to yourself or you’re too tired to think, I’m in the position that I have only one child and a fab support network of family, so I’ve been able to think about the direction I want to take my life in. Whilst maternity leave is certainly no walk in the park, it is a great chance to think about what you want from life. When else are you going to have a big chunk of time off work? For me, I wanted to refresh my blog design and liven it up a bit. The new-look site went live in January 2017 and I love the new magazine style lay-out. It’s made me as passionate as ever about Willow Lane, and I’ve even got a brand new media kit which I’m very proud of. I’ll admit, most of the hard work was done by my graphic designer better half Phill!
A New Marketing Job!
But the big big news is that I will be starting a brand new full-time job in May. At the start of the year, I made the decision to update my CV and apply for a few jobs that really appealed to me. Lo-and-behold I got offered a fab new job, working four days a week doing content marketing. Pretty much my dream job! Phill also has a new job – we really don’t do things by half in my family. We both like a challenge and we’re looking forward to a new chapter in our lives.
I’m slowly getting used to the idea of returning to work, and the fact that I’ll be doing a four day week makes me feel better about the whole thing. Wednesday’s will be my day off, which will break up the work week for me and allow me to spend precious time with Rose. I’m fortunate that both sets of grandparents will be looking after Rose whilst Phill and I are at work. This makes returning to work that bit easier too. I was looked after by my Nanny for the first four/five years of my life and that meant we had an incredible bond. I hope Rose will have that too with her Grandparents.
But there’s no getting away from the fact I’ll miss Rose like crazy! I’ve only been away from her for half a day so it will take a lot of adjustment to suddenly being without her the entire day. However, I’m looking forward to the challenge of work again. I’m not sure I could ever be a full-time stay at home mum. I’ve relished maternity leave but I’m looking forward to earning a decent wage again! I’ve always been quite career-focused and I wondered if that would change when I had a baby. In the early days when Rose was still a newborn and there was no semblance of a routine, I wondered if I could ever even contemplate going back to work. I was so tired and Rose was feeding off me all the time, I just couldn’t fathom being a working mummy. But once she was older and we got her in an evening sleep routine and her milk feeds began to reduce, I found that the prospect of going back to work wasn’t that scary – to the point I started job-hunting!
Maintaining my blog whilst on maternity leave has helped me realise I can juggle work and a baby. I’m proud that I’ve generally published one to two posts each week. Once Rose is in bed in the evening I set to work blogging. I still love working on Willow Lane so it’s not a chore but it does take discipline. It’s not just about writing posts, it’s about photography, videography, editing, social media management and lots of email communication with companies I work with. Whilst I was pregnant people often asked me if I’d continue to blog when I have a baby and replied ‘yes!’ I knew having my first child would be hard work but I didn’t want to give up something I loved and which I found very creatively fulfilling.
Saying that, carrying on blogging whilst going back to work and looking after a baby will be tough! It will take a lot of time-management on my part to make it work, but I figure if I still have the desire to work on Willow Lane, then I’ll be able to keep blogging. My prioritisation skills will have to be first class. No faffing about allowed!