Today marks the end of a life chapter for me, my final day of maternity leave. Tomorrow, after ten months of maternity leave I will be returning to the office knowing I will probably never get this time off work again. After completing our family with our beautiful Tot I am now putting the full stop on the end of our pregnancy and baby-having chapter.
I feel extremely lucky about having had two long bouts of maternity leave at ten months each but there is something incredibly final about today and tomorrow that I was not prepared for. I have found myself in a bit of a ‘funk’ wondering if I did enough with my maternity leave? Did I make the most of my time off? Did I appreciate each day? Usually I’m a pretty positive person so having these thoughts really threw a spanner in the works for me. I feel like I almost shut down for a week or two whilst I tried to departmentalise my thoughts and come to terms with them. I think I was in denial about my imminent return to work and when it finally hit me, it did just that, hit me like a ton of bricks.
After having a bit of a hump and being a grump I decided to give myself a kick up the backside and to turn my frown upside down. I didn’t want to ruin or waste the last few weeks so tried to make the most of every single minute I had left at home. We’ve squeezed in a few family days out, strolls and bike rides in the evening sunshine, running and splashing around in the garden and lots of messy play to boot. There are a lot of things I said I wanted to do whilst on maternity leave but didn’t get around to but I am trying to just think about what I have done. For one, I started this blog, a little place for just me and I’ve met some truly wonderful people through it already. We moved to our new house and have been slowly turning it into our amazing family home. We got Willow potty trained and taught her to ride her balance bike. I’ve planned and booked our first family holiday for next year and reignited by love of baking.
I have come to realise that although I may be closing this chapter, we are starting a new and different one. A chapter that won’t include pregnancy, newborns or maternity leave but instead tots turning to toddlers and toddlers turning to pre-schoolers. First words, first steps, first holidays, first days at school and first rides on a pedal bike. The times we do have away from work will be precious and no time will be wasted, I am now ready to jump straight into this new chapter and explore it whole heartedly.
I like to see my life as a story, made up of many chapters. The last three years has been the most exciting, wonderful, scary and beautiful chapter of my life so far. I’m both intrigued and excited to be at the beginning of a new chapter. Have you recently started a new chapter in your life? How did you feel about it?