On productivity and maternity leave

Saturday, June 5, 2010

39 weeks, 6 days pregnant
Still here, still pregnant.
Moving right along …
Since being off on maternity leave, I’ve been adjusting to the lack of PURPOSE in my life. It’s not like I love my job beyond belief — because, as you know, it has its bad parts. But I am good at my job, and I work hard at it, and it does fill me with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
I know that I will put the same time and energy (more, actually) into taking care of my baby (if he ever decides to arrive). Even though it’s not a 9-5 job with a paycheque, it will be my PURPOSE, and one that I plan to take very seriously. It’s like the most important job on earth!

These few weeks of waiting, however, have left me with no real purpose. The days are LONG and EMPTY and full of WAITING. It’s like being in a holding pattern, just waiting to get to the next step. It’s sort of like the (horrible) way I have felt in the past, when unemployed, except I know this is temporary.
People try to tell me that my “purpose” for now is to “rest” and “get ready for the baby.” Well, the baby stuff has been ready for months, and I’m getting an atrocious amount of rest. For someone like me, who is used to a fast-paced, busy schedule, it does not feel RIGHT to lie on the couch watching TV all day. I need something to doooooo!
Sure, I have accomplished stuff. Everyday, I add a bunch of “to-do” items into my BlackBerry, no matter how mundane they are. Stuff like “Drive Darling Husband to work,” and “Get groceries,” and “Fold laundry.” Because then, I get to check them off, and get a little burst of satisfaction. I’m doing something.

In case you are also on maternity leave and looking for ways to fill the days, here’s some of the things I’ve done over the last four weeks:
  • Read 30-something library books, plus re-read a bunch of my own books
  • Organized all of the photos on my computer
  • Scanned non-digital photos from around the condo
  • Uploaded all photos onto Wal-Mart’s site for printing
  • Scrapbooked my entire life (and Darling Husband’s) up to this point
  • Downloaded countless TV shows and movies
  • Caught up on latest “popular” movies (New Moon, Valentine’s Day, Leap Year, The Blind Side, The September Issue, etc.)
  • Watched episodes of random but awesome TV shows (Family Ties, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, Secret Life of the American Teenager, Sex and the City, Make it or Break it, Yes Dear)
  • Sewed baby-sized versions of Darling Husband’s work uniform
  • Bought presents and cards for an out-of-town baby shower and a wedding that I will not be able to attend this summer (because of the baby)
  • Went on a massive frozen-food shopping trip, and loaded up the deep freeze with meatloaves, stuffed chicken breasts, etc.
  • Baked bran muffins and cooked pancakes and frozen them in individual serving baggies
  • Opened up my been-packed-for-two-months hospital bags, and re-organized them so it’s easier to find things
  • Gotten a pregnancy massage
  • Gotten a pedicure
  • Gotten a haircut
  • Gotten an eyebrow wax
  • Made instructions for washing our clothes, the baby’s clothes, and the cloth diapers (complete with photos of our machines’ dials), and affixed them to the dryer with magnets
  • Cleaned out all of the kitchen cupboards
  • Bought birth announcement kit and designed the announcement
  • Addressed all of the birth announcement envelopes
  • Wrote letters to the baby
  • Went on endless walks around the neighbourhood with Little Dog
  • Went to two malls with C
  • Went to a Mommy/Baby movie
  • Went to a Mommy/Baby swimming session
  • Made labels for all of the storage baskets in Little Baby’s room
  • Made labels for storage bins in the laundry closet
  • Mended Darling Husband’s torn uniforms
  • Bought tons of cleaning supplies, and stocked each bathroom with its own supplies (no more dragging stuff from room to room when I clean)
  • Bought a lifetime supply of toilet paper and paper towels
  • Painted a canvas for the en suite bathroom (an abstract pattern that matches the shower curtain)
  • Cleaned out my armoire (moving clothes that “won’t fit for a while” to the bottom shelf)
  • Downloaded hundreds of baby- and kid-friendly songs, and loaded up an iPod for the baby
  • Downloaded more songs for my iPod, and made a labour playlist
Looking at this list makes me feel pretty good about how I’ve spent these last four weeks. I’ve done things around the house, I’ve done things to prepare for the baby, I’ve done things that are just for fun, and I’ve definitely done things that I know I won’t have time for once the baby is here (like snacking on chips and pop and watching a movie at 2 p.m. in my pajamas).
However, let’s hope it’s VERY SOON that this baby is here, and taking up all of my time. I am so eager to meet him that I feel like I’m constantly ready to burst — ah, from excitement, and from the fact that I also literally feel like my body is going to burst.

4 Comments on “On productivity and maternity leave

  1. I'm exhausted just reading that list… I think I need a nap, and I'm not pregnant! *L* Good luck with the baby, whenever he arrives. I always enjoy reading your blog. 🙂


  2. Oh, I have been following you since the beginning of this year. What a lovely blog – your posts never get dull. I've become anxious, this time, waiting for the next one though, as we all have assumed you've had your little baby 🙂 Congratulations!


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