So, my maternity leave started four whole weeks before my due date. It was the first time I would have had a year off working since I left college in 1998. A whole year away from office banter, clocking in, emails about how my pension was diminishing the older I got, colleagues bitching about ‘her’ in finance, and meetings with toffee nosed graduates in suits, I was ecstatic!
I strategically planned the next 12 months with precision.
I was going to change my life so that I didn’t have to go back to work, and my plan looked a bit like this…
Task 1 – Write a Book
Projected Outcome – Write a best selling book and make approximately £500k in sales to achieve not going back to work.
Actual Outcome – I decided on a title and the ending…I got ‘writer’s block’ around 4 months into my leave and my brain just stopped thinking. I started to write lists. I wrote lists about lists! I even added things to the list things I’d already done so I could just tick them off.
I did however manage to keep a baby diary for the full term of my pregnancy and I also half completed three ‘Baby’s First Year’ books I received as presents. Task completed.
Task 2 – Start a Business
Projected Outcome – Start Business (work from home) to achieve not going back to work. To elegantly swoon downstairs of a morning for a 9am start, buying and selling, making profit and securing investors into my niche market.
Actual Outcome – Bottles, nappies, playtime, food shopping, cleaning, tidying, walking the dog. I’D CALL THAT WORKING FROM HOME! Task completed.
Task 3 –Learn a New Language
Projected Outcome – Again…elegantly swoon into a French Patisserie in Paris and have a conversation with the locals imbedding myself in local culture and hosting wine tasting evenings from my chateau in Brittany. (Using profits from the book to fund Task 3)
Actual Outcome – I know what mam, bindy, hiya, abble, yish, all gog, wowo, elloo, fshhh, botbot, barf, all mean without a translator or baby language dictionary. Expert in baby language. Task completed.
Task 4 – De- Clutter (have a ‘big sort’)
Projected Outcome – De-clutter and live by ‘clean house, clean mind’.
Actual Outcome – Got rid of a lot of my stuff and replaced it with bigger baby stuff. Now need extension or move house to store more ‘stuff’. Task completed.
See? I did achieve everything I set out to achieve, just not in the way I thought I would!
I also managed to keep up my work life routine:
Attended Meetings – Ante-natal, baby group, health visitor
Met Deadlines – Feeding, bathtime, bedtime, teatime, naptime, daddy time, me time
Strategically Planned – Prepared and packed correct items for days out, walks, visiting friends and family.
Finance Management – Budget? What’s that?
Extra Hours – 24hours with no extra pay or holiday entitlement
Conclusion- My real job? Being a Mum.
What things did you plan to do on Maternity Leave?