I always thought I would be one of those women who worked until her water broke. I imagined texting my boss in the middle of the night to let him know I wouldn’t be coming in to work the next day. I would have all my accounts wrapped up nicely in a bow, all my policies issued and accounts cleared… only, that didn’t happen. Why am I even surprised? This pregnancy has been unlike anything I’ve ever imagined.
Sometime in the last week the nesting urge took over… It started with me wanting to rearrange the living room and one thing led to another and we ended up organizing the spare bedroom and putting away our winter coats and decluttering the basement and color coding the bookshelf, which is probably when the thought hit me… when was the last time I sat down to read a book, uninterrupted?? Suddenly, working until my water broke did not seem like such a badge of honor. I wanted to sleep in if I wanted to, read a book or two, do an art project or go for a walk or do nothing at all. I wanted some time to myself before the baby came… So, I called my boss the next day and told him I wanted to go out on maternity leave early.
So, fast forward to today… my first day being at home, supposedly enjoying the time off that I had earned, so why was I feeling so anxious? I woke up at 7 AM like I normally do and couldn’t go back to sleep. By 9 AM I had a nagging feeling that I was playing hooky from work. I tried watching TV but nothing interested me. I tried reading a book, but kept getting interrupted with thoughts of work. Did I move all my files over? Did I let all my brokers know? Should I call my boss to see how things were going? I mean, c’mon, how pretentious am I? Obviously, life goes on without me… duh! By 1:30 PM I I was utterly bored and miserable. I tried taking a nap, but when I woke up I felt even worse. Seriously, what is wrong with me?
For many years now, my job has been my anchor. It has defined me as an individual and given me a sense of purpose… if that sounds sad to some of you readers, then so be it. I’m owing it! When nothing else was working in my life, I had work to fall back on. So, now that I’ve given it up voluntarily for some ‘me time’, what the heck am I supposed to do? How am I going to handle showing up to a new job where I’m the only one at the office for the next several weeks?
Once the baby is here, I will have my hands full… In the meantime, I have to come up with a plan.
How did you handle transitioning into maternity leave?