Oh I had so many plans for my maternity leave! With all of the sleep that my baby would be doing both day and night , I was going to use that time to make a huge impact on the world. I had planned on some very important initiatives like:
- Learn how to make homemade cinnamon rolls
- Learn Italian
- Exercise and lose the baby weight
- Go for long walks around the neighborhood with my beautiful sleeping baby in the stroller
- Cook elaborate home cooked meals
As you can imagine, hardly any of this happened and sadly, the only cinnamon rolls I had were from Pillsbury, you know the ones that come in those cans that scare the #@! out of you when they pop open?
Yep, my days/nights the first 6 weeks of maternity leave were spent like this:
Mom makes me breakfast and feeds me while I continue to nurse baby
Hold baby (baby naps in my arms not in crib)
Use bathroom very quickly while baby cries because I am not nursing him
See above except swap breakfast for dinner
See above except swap lunch for Dinner
One of the “pearls of wisdom” that people offered me before Leo was born was to “sleep when he sleeps” the problem was Leo only slept with me in my arms during the day. Not that it would have mattered because I couldnt sleep during the day anyway. Leo did most of his sleeping at night (in the crib) but he wouldnt sleep for very long maybe only two-three hours at a time since he would wake up to nurse.
Now anyone that knows me knows that I love to sleep. I am a champion sleeper and require about 8-9 hours of sleep every night. When I am on vacation I easily sleep 9 hours if I dont set an alarm. Unfortunately, I am one of those people . I hate that because I think of all the time I waste sleeping. Thankfully, after 6 weeks things really settled down and Leo started sleeping through the night more and more frequently.
The remainder of my maternity leave wasn’t as sleep deprived as the first 6 weeks but I was still nuring him around the clock. I spent a lot of time on the couch. I wound up binge watching Parenthood episodes on Netflix (a fantastic show by the way) as well as Damages (another fantastic show.)
I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade regarding maternity leave, If you have a baby that naps well (alone in their crib) then you could certainly have a lot more free time than I did. Just keep your expectations low. Do not pressure yourself to be a Martha Stewart.
P.S. The cinnamon rolls in a can, yes they are processed, fake food but they taste pretty good. I’ll make my own someday, when Leo is like …19.