I started my maternity leave this week. Hoo-rah. As my first baby arrived a month earlier than scheduled, I thought it would be a good idea to take a month off work BEFORE the due date this time around, and then cram basically everything I’ve ever needed to do into the first three days of leave.
It is just dawning on me though, that if this baby arrives when it is supposed to, this whole month is going to turn into a selfish holiday for me. Except instead of sun there will be clouds and/or snow blizzards (it is March) and instead of Sangria there will be antacids.
My little girl is still going to be in childcare for three days a week, so that’s THREE DAYS TO MYSELF. For potentially four weeks. That’s (gets calculator and fingers out) TWELVE DAYS of dedicated, quality Catherine time.
What the hell do I do with it?
I’ve already frantically completed my copywriting course. I’ve had my once-yearly hair cut (which has made me look a bit Professor Brian Cox, I can’t lie) I can’t commence full-scale nesting yet because a) we are in the middle of having our kitchen replaced and therefore everything is chaos (no fridge, no washing machine, no ROOM FOR ANYTHING) and b) I sort of can’t be arsed.
Obviously, once the kitchen is finished I’ll be able to focus on becoming Mary Berry, and basically will be whipping up scrummy, ‘informal’ scones and ‘easy-peasy’ frittatas at all hours of the day. But until then I think I need some goals. Otherwise I WILL sit on the sofa every day, reading my Kindle and justifying another KitKat because it’s ‘mostly, like, wafer and air?’
The sensible thing, given the whole point of this blog, would be to start getting some useful little side-projects underway. Learn how to illustrate. Design a book cover. Try a bit harder to get an agent for my novel. Work out whether what I’ve written actually fits into any existing genre or just….slithers between the cracks of many. Double-down on meditation practices. Etc. Etc.
There are too many options, that’s the problem! I need to just pick one! But which one? I’m panicking myself into inaction! Or worse, confusing myself into needing to read another book on the subject. (God help me, I love a self-help book. Maybe I should write one of those?!) I have been lulled into thinking that I can Achieve Things during my year off, just because last time I somehow managed to write a book. But this time there are two children.
Anyway, the purpose of this post is a selfish one – I need a bit of accountability, so I’m putting it out there that I am committing to keeping this blog going during this maternity leave. Or at least, these handful of weeks before the baby actually arrives and my zeal for becoming the Next Big Thing dies a swift and joyless death. No! Aim higher! I will keep the blog going AND in 12 months time I will have learned a new skill.
(That skill may be self-medicating with an exotic range of liqueurs, but the commitment remains.)
Although…. Do you know what actually finally prompted me to write my damn novel after 25 years of wanting to? It was finally, FINALLY, cutting myself some slack and accepting that it probably just wasn’t going to happen. Suddenly, motivation and inspiration were my constant friends.
And on that conflicting message, I bid you adieu.