I am on the brink of ending my working life as I know it. I keep telling myself that Motherhood will be tough, but I just can’t suppress that holiday feeling. A year off work – yipeeeeee!

Lurking beneath this is a small but nagging fear. How will I cope without the structure that work brings to my life? I have become accustomed to working in an environment which is intensely positive. I bound into work each morning, ready to accept feedback, share learnings and drive change. Every day I am challenged to be a better version of myself than the one that shuffled in yesterday. I work for a company that combines fierce capitalism with ethics, generosity and table tennis. The company has objectives that I can believe in, and every year these filter neatly down into the stuff that I do – a document of objectives that I can aspire to, live by and hold dear.

There is much about my work-life that I am happy to fling aside like a used post-it note (setting my alarm for 6:30 being top of the list), but having a set of goals to work towards is not one of them. Therefore, I give you, my 2012 objectives..

1) Nail the basics
– Don’t drop the baby. Also, feed it, clean it, and keep it generally content and healthy.
– If baby was asked to rate the facilities and customer service of their mothering experience, I would like to at least make the dizzy heights of “satisfactory”.
– We all know the importance of feedback. What my new manager, ahem baby, will lack in detailed examples, she will make up for in enthusiastic delivery. “Real-time feedback” will take on a whole new meaning.
– I will embrace this feedback, and appreciate her efforts to communicate. Even if she has been giving me feedback for hours on end and it’s 3AM.

2) Add value
– Whilst trying not to turn into one of those competitive parents everyone hates, I will be unashamedly ambitious in my approach to parenting.
– This won’t be about putting pressure on my child, but instead challenging myself – to be the best possible facilitator of my child’s learning and development.
– I’m not just talking developmental milestones or academic achievement (although I have been singing the alphabet song to my bump, is that weird?). I want them to develop their creativity, curiosity and sense of independence.

3) Be sustainable
– I will endeavor to make planet-friendly choices. I will persevere with re-usable nappies.
– The principles of sustainability should also apply to our household budgets. If I have to introduce austerity measures and spending cuts, I will. In extreme circumstances, we will have to swap Waitrose for Asda.
– I will grow yummy herbs and veg in our garden – great for the planet and for our personal deficit reduction. Cashback!

4) Stay sane
– Although shy, I am a social animal, and do not fare well spending too much time by myself. I will fill my diary with every possible mother and baby group. I will lure other Mums to my house with promises of nice cake so that they will be my friends.
– I will use my maternity leave as an opportunity to channel and foster my creative energies.
– I will not just be a Mum, I will be a chef, crafts-woman, landscape gardener, journalist, fashion designer and interior decorator.

5) Be a 50’s style housewife
– As much as I take advantage of the trappings of Feminism on a daily basis, I can’t help but harbor sneaky fantasies about housewife-dom.
– I dream of Betty Draper glamour, and a spotless gleaming house. Of using lemon juice and vinegar for stuff other than cooking. Of welcoming my Husband home from work to the smell of freshly baked bread, and a three course meal beautifully presented on the table.
– In reality, if I can manage to do some hoovering and put the dishwasher on, I’ll be doing amazingly well.

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