At the end of last year I set myself some workplace style objectives for 2012, and my life of motherhood beyond. If you need a reminder you can find them here..
So, almost half way through my maternity leave with my daughters 6 month birthday fast approaching, it’s time for a quick self-assessment to see how I’m doing.
Nail the basics
Given my general clumsiness, and appalling history of house-plant maltreatment (I once killed a cactus), many of my acquaintances must have secretly doubted my ability to look after a baby – not least myself.
Well, I am proud to report that my little girl is happy, healthy and un-dropped. She seems generally satisfied with the standards of care, and only a couple of small lapses have given rise to some stern feedback.
The latest of these arose when I somehow managed to pick her up in my sleep. This wouldn’t necessarily have been a problem, had I aimed for the right end. Instead, I awoke to the sound of a screaming child, and a puzzled husband asking me why I was holding the baby upside down. This was unsettling for all concerned, not least my daughter who made very sure that her disapproval was felt. This has not happened again.
The life of a Mum on maternity leave gets quickly booked up with a variety of Mother and Baby activities. Many of these are for the benefit of the Mums – Baby Cinema, post-natal fitness, Mum-friend coffee dates. But there are also great classes available for the babies. Already, my little one has been exploring her flexibility and balance at Baby Yoga, and has been swimming unaided underwater in her Waterbabies lessons. Next up will be Baby Sign Language classes – I just can’t wait to start communicating with her!
After persevering for too long with an unreliable nappy laundry service, and dabbling with eco-disposables, I have finally found my ideal green nappy solution in Gnappies. You get some very cute re-usable pants, that can take either a re-usable cloth insert, or a 100% biodegradable and compostable disposable insert – the best of both worlds! I use cloth when we’re in the house, and the biodegradables when out and about. Adding the non-poopy ones to your compost pile is actually good for your veggies!
In an effort to economise, I am in Waitrose rehab. I’ve fallen off the wagon here and there, but it’s not been quite as tough as I thought. Fresh lemongrass and harissa paste are available in our local Asda, so we’re managing to cope.
At risk of sounding all a bit “smug Mum”, I am really enjoying my maternity leave, more than I thought I would. In my nightmares I feared long sleepless nights, followed by long endless days, spent sobbing quietly on the sofa in front of Jeremy Kyle.
In fact I have a busy diary, a bevy of lovely Mum friends and a new-found passion for baking bread from scratch. Work-life balance has tipped fully into life-life balance, and I am treasuring every second with my little girl. That’s not to say I don’t miss work sometimes – like coming to the end of a holiday it will feel right and proper when it comes time to go back. But until then I shall continue to live the Yummy Mummy dream.
Be a 50’s style housewife
I have realised that my housewife fantasy was mainly based on the idea of wearing nice outfits and baking cakes. The reality of attempting to keep an entire house both clean and tidy is really not that appealing. I am doing my best with moderate success, and my fantasies now revolve around hiring a cleaner.