People without kids may find themselves asking the question, “What do you DO on maternity leave?” Maybe you think new parents get to LIVE IT UP and PARTY ALL DAY, because new babies do a lot of sleeping?
If you think that, you are correct. By “live it up,” I mean, “watch Netflix in 30-minute increments, between changing diapers and breastfeeding and checking whether your tiny creature is breathing.” And by “party all day,” I mean, “sleep in 2-3 hour bursts, in between baby-cries.”
But for my own records, here’s a tiny look into what I did on my maternity leave.
I spent the holidays in Ohio with my family, so I could experience moments of bliss not limited to watching the Hubbs read a pop-up book with my niece and encouraging my parents to snuggle their new grandson. I took approximately 5,624 photos of my niece and her new cousin (“BABY!”) in order to get one or two where they are not moving, pooping or crying. Also: I coordinated matching outfits for my family.
My lovely friends visited in gentle, much-appreciated waves, beginning in the hospital and continuing through New Year’s week. Some came from New York and New Jersey, and others met me for snacks at cafes. My sister left her own sweet baby for a weekend to come cook and grocery shop for us, and my mom visited and granted us a very romantic morning date at Target.
I made peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, because I was curious about baked cookies that didn’t have flour. The Hubbs gave them a rating of “No, we can’t share these with other people. We need to keep them all here.”
Mostly, though, I spent my time exclaiming, “OH MY GOODNESS, you are so cute!” or “What a good, sweet boy!” or “A-gooooo!” A few minutes were devoted to discovering elbow dimples, and several minutes over thunder thighs. Many hours were lost to translating cries. You learn over a few weeks that “Change my diaper” sounds different from “I’m about to spit up all over you” and from “FEED ME.”
This week I go back to my 9-to-5, and daddy daycare begins. We proceed into a brave new world of parenting. Onward!