Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Maternity Leave: Day 3

Well, I am now pretty much on maternity leave from the newspaper. This week I am "on call." Which means if the new guy has questions, I promised I wouldn't be venturing far from home and would answer his phone calls or come into work for awhile if necessary. But otherwise, I no longer work at the newspaper.

This is very, very weird for me.

I have met a deadline every week (except for my occasional vacations) since June of 1994. I have worked my ass off for seven different newspapers, missed family functions, cancelled plans with friends, and forgone exercise, sleep and proper diet for this job for so many years that I'm not entirely sure what I'm supposed to do with myself now.

Okay -- that's not totally true. I have a long list of things I need to get done before Gracie gets here. And then, once she does get here, I'm pretty sure she will keep me so busy I won't have time to worry about stupid things like whether or not they'll miss me at work.

But there's a huge gigantic chunk of me that's feels monumentally guilty for getting to escape the daily grind when my poor hubby still has to go every day. Every morning I give him his lunch and kiss him goodbye, knowing I'm sending him off to a job he doesn't really like, while I stay home and have naps and wait for baby to get here.

I tell myself that I haven't had a vacation in three years and this is probably the last one I will get for years and years and YEARS so I deserve this time off. And I tell myself that I owe it to Gracie to listen to my tired body and take it easy for these last few days before she's born so that I will be the best mommy I can be when she gets here. And I tell myself that in a few short months I will be trying to figure out how to work from home and look after a baby at the same time, so I should enjoy this down time while I have it.

But it doesn't work. I look at the tired face of my hubby (who also quit smoking on Saturday), and I can't let myself sit still. I have to make sure that I've done enough in a day to justify my quitting my job and sitting at home.

Is that crazy? Maybe it's just because baby isn't here yet. Maybe I need to give myself time to adjust to my new life. Or maybe, just maybe, I just need to get over myself.


T. said...

You get used to the guilt as time wears on. Now I just send my hubs to work with a kiss and tell him to hurry up and earn momma some money.

Good luck and take care of yourself.

Birthing a baby is the easy part...just wait till the day after!

Anonymous said...

Look at maternity leave a wonderful blessing. This is one of the only times in your life that you get to take this time to spend entirely at home with your child and you have the permission of your employer - even if they don't like the thought. I totally embraced maternity leave. By then end of it I was ready to go back to work because I wanted that grown-up interaction I wasn't getting at home - other than conversations with hubby. Work is just different though.

You need to relax and not worry about filling every second of your day with chores. You're going to be busy enough with everything when Gracie comes.

My suggestion is to just enjoy this special time and make the most out of every minute of it.