Our alarm clock goes off at 7am every morning. (Actually it goes off at 6.54, but my husband in his infinite wisdom has a thing about setting clocks to run early.)
For the first time in a while the aggressive beeping isn’t my cue to roll out of bed in an ungainly fashion and start rootling around for a pair of warm socks. Because yesterday was my last day in the office for 13 months. My last day of packed trains and catch-up meetings and monthly targets and office banter. Just me, my wriggly bump, and a quiet house full of possibility.
I’m officially on Maternity Leave.
I opted to start my maternity leave pretty early. Employees in the UK can leave the office behind as early as 29 weeks into their pregnancy, roughly the start of the third trimester. I then decided to stick some paid holiday on to that, meaning that that 25 weeks pregnant I strolled out of the office for the last time carrying two bags of desk junk, two cardboard cut outs of Channing Tatum and Tom Hiddleston (don’t ask), and some lovely baby gifts from my colleagues. This morning I’m sitting with my coffee with IDEAS rolling around my brain like thunder. The only concrete plan for today is to get my hair cut. There are so many hours in the day for mayhem and scheming and Making Things Happen.
I could have a lazy bath; I could tidy the house (don’t laugh, I love creating order from chaos); I could sit for hours and write every blog post I ever wanted; I could get my camera out and do a monster photoshoot for my current quilt project; I could work on said quilt project; I could plant my shallots; I could start preparing the future baby room for decorating; I could finally find out who won the Pottery Throw Down (no spoilers please!); I could go for a walk; I could make a gorgeous lunch using purple-sprouting broccoli from the garden. And that’s just day one. If I’m not careful I’m going to burn out on free time.
Luckily we’re off to New York at the end of the week, so the chances of my doing any serious damage in three days are limited. In theory.
What I know for certain is that I’m going to need some super structured to do lists, or the house is going to fall down.
Anyone out there either done the maternity leave roller coaster, or taken a long period of leave? How did you keep from spinning out of control?? I’m going to need serious advice!