We all know that maternity leave is not for the faint of heart. Even as a first time mom, I thought I knew what to expect during my year-off. I expected to feel exhaustion, uncertainty, love and frustration. I got all of that and more.
As every mother knows, maternity leave, like parenting in general, is full of surprises. I got lot of those as well.
Here are some things I did not expect to do during my maternity leave:
Became a published author.
Tried Bison. It was good.
Learned how to blog.
Officially graduated university for the 3rd time. Learned a hard lesson about forgetting to bring my breast pump.
Sobbed uncontrollably on the kitchen floor.
Learned to be okay with going places by myself.
Wore clothing covered in someone else’s bodily fluid in public.
Realized I was completely okay with breastfeeding in public. I thought I would want to cover up, but I did not care about modesty even a little bit.
Went bathing suit shopping…and actually found one.
Started working out for the first time in my life. Now I can do push-ups and I have calf definition like you wouldn’t believe.
Was so tired that I repeatedly found myself in rooms I did not remember entering.
Signed up for an obstacle course race. Stay tuned, it will be funny. I attempted to do the monkey bars in the park next door and just hung for a minute before attempting to change bars and falling off. This bodes well, I think.
Made some amazing friends through mom groups. I hope that my son has also made some lifelong friends as well.
Had food poisoning on an air plane with a baby. Also made it through airport security swaying and sweating but was not selected for extra screening. Thank you, white privilege.
Kept a tiny human alive and mostly happy for a year. (17 more to go!)
Watched a lot of survival shows. Like way too many. Did not learn a thing. Don’t come here in the event of Apocalypse.
Went zip-lining over zebras. It was just as cool as it sounds.
Got laid-off and transferred to a new school to teach a new subject.
Had full, two person conversations by myself.
Remembered to change the batteries in my smoke detectors.
Applied to be on a TV game show, but was not accepted. I was relieved that I didn’t have to get dressed up.
Felt completely and utterly defeated in the morning but absolutely joyful one hour later.
Began to miss spending my days with teenagers. Yes, really.
Well, that’s all I can think of for now. What surprising things did you do on your maternity leave?
Photo credit: oreses via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC