Maternity Leave: Day 5 {Finding balance}

These last 5 days have been full of ups and downs in so many ways. I’m continually in the process of finding balance with my need to “go, go, go” and forcing myself to relax because there is only so much I can handle and frankly, there is only so much time I will be able to relax before Wes arrives. It’s still hard to come to terms with my early leave and I struggle daily to make those thoughts of guilt go away.

On Saturday, I was faced with that guilt once again in just side conversation among other women who are currently pregnant, due at the same time as me, and have toddlers at home. {Great, let’s continue to kick a sister while she’s down.}  I know that the guilt is all in my mind, but there is part of me that can’t help but believe that they see a weakness in me for my decision. Maybe it’s my own mind steering that way, but if you’ve been pregnant before, you’ve heard women gloat on how well they are able to balance work and pregnancy. This to me is a load of crap and I’m calling you out on it. I may be speaking to you, someone you know, or someone you’ve overheard talk about how easy it is. It’s not easy. Stop pretending that it is.

^^Load of crap^^

I am just so frustrated for comparing myself with other women and feeling guilty because I am apparently not as strong as them. This is also crap because I always work myself crazy for others and disregard my needs. I’m done with that, but don’t get me wrong – it’s a struggle to accept those feelings.

Other women just frustrate me so much right now by stating proudly how they worked up until a few hours before their first baby was born. What kind of a sick society are we living in where women need to be super homemakers and super employees? This is not balance. There is no way by week 32 you are working to your fullest potential, it’s impossible. Just be honest with yourself and others; it’s hard. I feel like one of the few women who will admit that it’s just not easy.

Though I know there will be those people who will think I am weak, I just don’t care. I struggle not showing my feelings to others, so if being brutally honest is weak, then so be it.

Maybe other women show this façade for the sheer fact that they can’t leave work early. I can entirely understand that financially it’s hard to live on one income if you’re not used to it.  Or, that to keep their position they have no other choice. I get it, I absolutely do. But it’s okay to acknowledge that it wasn’t an easy decision, if a decision at all.

Honestly, if it were the case that I had a contracted position as a teacher, I probably would have forced myself to work up until the bitter end. I guarantee that I would have cried daily and did the best that I could, but there would be little benefit for me, my students, or my baby if I’m not at my fullest potential.

As I mentioned before, my job has been very supportive of my decision to leave earlier than expected. I am beyond appreciative for that and I know that work places have come a long way when it comes to encouraging work/life balance. I just think that the mindset among women – including myself – should change from seeing an individual’s limitations as a weakness to understanding that it is actually a strength.

I know that I will need to change my perception as well, because I know that I am not weak. However, I allow my perception of what others think of my decision intrude on this wonderful time I have to be prepared for Wes.

In other news:

39 days until baby Wes! I can’t wait to see my little pooper!

I have been able to utilize my 30% of energy each day to prepare for Wes and do nice things for myself. On Saturday I was able to go to the Itty Bitty Bee Consignment sale in Kimberton and get much needed things on the cheap and then had dinner at Maggiano’s with my family for my mom’s birthday. Yesterday, I went couponing in the morning with a neighbor to get much needed supplies {AKA dooms day prepping… I kid}, go for a walk with the hubby and enjoy a Rita’s ice.

The other 70% of my time is devoted to sitting on my yoga ball to stretch my horribly sore hips and back, sleeping, writing, light cleaning and delegating more heavy lifting chores for John to do.

I’m still avoiding handwriting thank yous, though they are all typed and edited. My handwriting is horrible. Looks like I know what I will be doing today.


7 thoughts on “Maternity Leave: Day 5 {Finding balance}

  1. Tara says:

    Hi. Three girls, now 18, 17 & 11… those women are kidding themselves and deep down wishing they could chill a bit and savor the moments. I had to work till delivery with the first two and it wasn’t fun. Yeah, I did it, and yeah, if you’d asked me then, I would’ve seemed to like it…but I didn’t.
    Mothering is more important than working and with my last child I was able to relax and enjoy much more and it was a better experience for everybody involved.

  2. Linda says:

    Oh, Mommy guilt! It sucks, huh? I do agree with Julie when she says unconditional love has so much power it is hard to grasp. And the Down Syndrome extended family is a beautiful thing- of course there is some drama, like in any group, but for the most part it is the best support group EVER! We are here for each other. And now you are a part of this beautiful circle. Welcome!

  3. I am the queen of guilt! But there comes a nirvana when you enter the world of Ds that you glimpse that unconditional love that has so much power, it is hard to grasp. All the sudden you know that baby is going to be yours, and the love surpasses the diagnosis. The light bulb moment happens all at once that… THIS is how you are supposed to love yourself. THIS is how your Creator loves you. For me it is one of the holy 2 x 4’s that hit me in the head sometimes. It is one of the millions of gifts Ds will bring you. I am still not used to it, but I love it. And I love that it comes from my daughter.

  4. Mom says:

    We all carry the female gene that we are not working at our full potential. It is a curse! Pave the way for your fellow sista’s and shout out “enough”. We women have nothing more to prove! Relax….you have earned it!

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