Wednesday, 17 May 2017

My year out | Maternity leave



This year I've taken a year out from uni to be with Eli for his first year. I thought, at first, that I might be able to go straight back to uni after he was born but since his due date was Aug 20th, he would've been less than 2 months old when I needed to go back. I realised very soon after being pregnant, from the extremely strong bond that I already had with him, that I wouldn't be able to leave him so soon after him being born and it wouldn't work with my breastfeeding plans. I am very fortunate to have been able to make that choice as I know other women, especially in countries which don't enforce paid maternity leave, do not have that choice and are made to go straight back into work after having a baby in order to keep a roof over their heads,  but that's a whole other post.

This year 2016/17 has been a good year. I got engaged, Eli was born, we got married!!




But its also been a very hard year, I had to let go of "someone" dear to me, we've had money problems, I've had my own problems.

You see being a stay at home mum is a lot harder than I thought it would be especially when you're away from "home" and don't have a lot of contact with your friends. It can be very lonely and it can leave you in a bad place. It's not that I have no friends, it's just that some live far away and others have their own lives being students. It's hard, to bring the world of a mum and full time students together as they've completely different schedules. Still it gets lonely, you love your child more than you love yourself but adult contact always helps.

I sometimes feel I give myself a hard time for not having been extremely productive but have I not? I've brought up an extremely healthy and happy baby who's now crawling and pulling himself up on things. I've planned a wedding and baptism in a tight budget. I've now got a weekend job and am hoping to soon get my license before I go back to uni. I mean, I've not invented the cure to anything but I should still give myself a pat on the back no?

When you're used to leaving the house everyday and seeing your friends often to not really speaking to anyone, it gets really hard. Your job now is to clean the house, look after baby, cook, do the food shopping list, get the clothes washed... I have to say... I have had my ups and downs with this but Rob has been very understanding.

Now the time is approaching to go back to uni and for Eli to go back to nursery and I am a little nervous. Mostly because of Eli going to nursery if I'm honest. He's only ever been with me or Rob and even then it's hard for me to leave him, feels like my heart breaks a little. I guess I get scared of missing a beat like I'll go away and come back n he'll be walking or something... but I guess I'll just have to get used to it. He'll be fine, I know it, i mean it's always the mothers that have a harder time and I'm no exception.
I'm also excited though, to go back to learning, to go a step closer to earning my degree, a step closer to a good job that I'll love and a step closer to the next step.

It's been a hard year, but a good year. I've learnt many things that will benefit me forever. I've become a mother and a wife. A stronger woman than I was before. I'll be going back a new person with different priorities, a different way of seeing things, and a more intensified hunger to succeed, to do well, but now not just for me... but for my family.

So, until next time...

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