I’ve written a few posts about becoming a mum and maternity leave. It certainly wasn’t a natural transition for me and I was never one of these people who had a burning desire to be a mum. Now that I am a mum, I can’t imagine what life was like before! And I love being a mum. But it hasn’t been easy and the start of my motherhood journey was rocky. I share my maternity leave reality in this post here and I share my back to work tips here. I even share the reasons why I like being a working mum!
It’s all a bit ironic really. I didn’t overly enjoy maternity, yet returning to work was hard too. I’m not easily pleased.
Today on the blog I’m going to write about some of my thoughts and feelings on maternity leave and how bloody lonely it was at times. There were a few things that helped me get through the boring bits.
maternity leave loneliness
Once the heady excitement of your newborn baby has gone (well it did for me!) and the visitors have dwindled, maternity can be a lonely time. I had b in June and little did I know but most baby groups break up for summer in July. Once I was ready to venture out the house, all the groups were done until September. I found the first few months really lonely, repetitive and mind-numbingly dull.
Mum-guilt in full force
And I feel incredibly guilty for feeling like that. After all, when you have a baby, aren’t you supposed to be filled with all the joy and wonder that being a new mum brings?
In reality I was exhausted. Thrust from my old life into this new one, without any real warning. All those restless nights being pregnant did NOT prepare me for the sleep deprivation.
I found the days so monotonous and would clock-watch until the hubby got home. It was truly depressing.
So what got me out of my lonely new mum hole? Well there were a few things…
Establishing a bit of a routine
I know it sounds silly but just building up a small routine each day really helped in terms of feeling like “normal”. I’d get up, feed, sort the bottles, shower and get dressed. I used to enjoy a bit of Jeremy Kyle and This Morning. I know, I know but some of the drama made me feel a whole lot better.
Once September came around and the baby groups started, I made an effort to go to some. I developed a routine where I’d do certain groups on certain days.
Now you either love them or hate them. And yes, some are cliquey and some are not. You’ll meet fun mums, odd mums, worried mums and even dads. Ultimately going to groups helped me feel less alone. I started to meet mums who also felt like the days dragged. I met mums that looked like life was peachy on the outside but less so in. Going to baby groups gave me a bit of a purpose each week. A reason to get dressed and leave the house.
I really found that walking with the pram was great for getting fresh air and putting any worries or catastrophizing thoughts into perspective. On days where I had not a lot to do, just a walk down to my local shop and a mooch really helped.
Keep in touch days
Going back to work now and again really help me feel a bit more connected to the “real” world. I did a few once b hit four months and then some more before I went back. It definitely helped me mentally prepare for work again.
It sounds ridiculous but the smallest amount of “alone” time really helped me feel “me” again. Does that make sense?
I remember the first time I popped to the supermarket without b. It was sheer bliss! No pram, no change bag, no car seat. Just me and my handbag. These mini outings and stolen half hours here and there really helped me a lot.
A night out
Now whether it be a date night with the hubby or wife, or a girly night out on town, making time to do something without baby is so important. It was for me anyway. Again it helped me feel like the old me and it helped me adjust to my new life as mum.
Have you been on maternity leave? How was it for you? Or are you yet to embark on this adventure?! Share with me your thoughts below or on all the social channels! And of course, don’t forget to pin and save for later.