What I Learned on Mat Leave

Alternate Title: You Won’t Believe What This Woman Learned! #7 Will Shock You!


Three weeks ago I put on my heels and makeup and headed back to work after being home with my 2 baby daughters (8 months apart) and 6 year old son. Luckily Hubby was able to get a long leave from work to allow for this life transition. This meant trading roles with my husband, letting my inner (and outer) control freak let go and trusting that everyone and everything would truck along just fine.

My first child came to us when he was 3, so I had done the pre-school phase prior to the newborn phase. When 6 months after we had our baby girl, we decided life was too boring, so we adopted another baby girl. That is the simplistic version of what went down, but needless to say we learned so much in the year I was on mat leave!

Life transitions are a great time to reflect, and I did just that. I talked about some learnings and thoughts in a previous FB post and now with some time, I’m ready to throw down a little more wisdom- things I learned about life with babies.

1. You can watch almost the entire Netflix catalogue in one year.
2. Your dependance on info from Babycenter to validate EVERY SINGLE THING your baby does or does not do will become stronger than your growing dependance on coffee.
3. Your attempts at efficiency will be laughed at by whatever higher power you look to. For example, taking a 6 month old baby and a 5 year old afraid of needles to get their immunizations at the same time is efficient, it is also a very bad idea and not a fun way to spend an afternoon.
4. Dressing a baby while you are running behind for an appointment will become more difficult than stuffing an octopus into a ziplock bag.
5. Play dates with your 3 kids sound like a great idea until the time you need to get all 3 kids plus yourself dressed, fed and out the door.
6. Daytime television will make your brain bleed a little.
7. Yo Gabba Gabba can positively change your life.
8. Seeing those uber productive moms with their well dressed kids on Facebook excelling at everything may make up want to punch someone in the throat, despite your best efforts to make it on their team.
9. This desire to put your child down and make a run for the border is completely natural.
10. Beware the Christmas traditions you think you now have time for. Elf on a Shelf? Run away, don’t do it. Are you ready to make a unique elfin tableau every single night for a month for the next 10 years?
11. You know those plastic electrical outlet covers that are part of Baby-proofing 101? Some children look at them as a challenge, a challenged best roomed from the outlet by wet, drooly mouths. Just a heads up.
12. You will spend an inordinate amount of money on your child’s 1st birthday, despite your attempts to not buy into Pinterest-fuelled hype. Start putting away money early and be ready to wallow in your own shame, because that birthday is going to be THE. BEST. EVER.
13. You need to find someone above the age of 18 to spend time with or talk to during the day. I was lucky enough to be on leave the same time as my best friend; she talked me off the ledge a number of times. Plan conception timelines with your best friend, but if you can’t, find another grown up to connect with.
14. Learn to trust yourself. As they say, “Playas gonna hate.” Somehow mom’s and their parenting choices are fair game for hatin’. Do what works for you, screw them.
15. You will marvel at the myriad of uses for baby wipes and think to yourself that people without kids are really missing out by not having baby wipes in their life.
16. Have fun, the time goes faster than you think it will (and yes EVERYONE will tell you this).

Share this with the pregnant ladies in your life!

About Avoiding The Train Wreck

I like cheese. I am a odd duck, learning to parent my 3 kids while trying to ensure our world doesn't come to a crashing halt at any time. The chaos of our everyday in this home is like trying to prevent a colossal train wreck every single day. I provide pithy commentary on these daily adventures and I do not take myself too seriously. Pssst...neither should you. This is a place to continue my first (abandoned) attempts at blogging found here. I may also bring in a few previous posts from FB. And I like wine too.
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One Response to What I Learned on Mat Leave

  1. betternotbroken says:

    Number 7 is shocking, I do not know if I can accept this, it is all too fast, too soon, you just sprung it on us.


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