• S.K.

How I'm Spending My Parental Leave



Hi there! I realise it might be a while since you heard from me, but I promise I have a valid excuse for disappearing from view for a while.


If you hadn’t heard, I had a baby back in December. I always knew adding a new member to our family would change things, but the extent of that change has taken everyone by surprise!


So I wanted to use this blog to give a little insight into our new life, explain how things are working and share a little research I’ve done since becoming a first-time Mam.


MATERNITY PLUS COVID


Despite having all the plans and all the hopes of a lovely, relaxing period of parental leave before my small person came along, I started my leave with a week’s worth of Covid. Not ideal, especially when I was about to burst forth with new life (AKA baby Hunter). Thankfully, our little one arrived safe and sound and bumped our small family number up to three. We spent December in a whirl of new baby life, surrounded by Christmas fairy lights, family and all the regalia associated with a small baby. How life changed for the better!


Christmas, baby’s first, was magical. Then we spent January recovering from all the festivities and working out how to function on less sleep and absolutely no routine!


When my husband went back to work after his parental leave, including a bump up in his hours, I had to adapt to looking after mini-Hunter on my own – quite a culture shock. I’m still not sure I’m absolutely there, but we muddle along.


I found the confidence to venture out of the house with my baby and we met up with our fellow new mams from our NCT group and their little ones. We’d frequent local, coastal coffee shops and talk about all the issues we faced, challenges we’d overcome and plans for spending time together. Anyone who has ever had a new baby will know that friends are an absolute lifeline!

As a group, we decided to do two classes a week which, amongst attending appointments, doing life admin, seeing family and friends and looking after a baby on minimal sleep, made day-to-day life very busy and extremely tiring. But we’d highly recommend the classes at Hartbeeps and Baby massage at Tumble – they’re both amazing and well worth the money and time.


TAKING MATERNITY A BIT EASY


So we’ve decided to slow things down a bit this month. As the nicer weather promises to grace our lives, we’re going for more walks and enjoying the outdoors. We’ve only booked one block of lessons in advance and plan, instead, to take advantage of some of the free or pay-as-you-go classes available in the area.


I’ve found these a real help when life with a new baby takes unexpected turns and you just need to get out and about with other new mams, but not be tied to a regimented timetable. One thing I have discovered is that it’s easier to look after a baby outside of my own home, especially when surrounded by other mums, tea and cake!


And it’s for that reason that I’ve pulled together a resource for other new mams who are struggling to find classes or activities that fit in with their new lives, or who want to get out and meet other mams for a chat, a cuppa and some support.

Here's a link to the download - Baby Class Timetable


GETTING BACK TO WORK


Back in my pregnancy days I had grand plans to get back to work by April – I’d have a four-month-old and it would be the start of a new tax year.


In reality though, I just don’t feel ready to return to work yet. With a husband who works strange hours (and lots of them), plus the demands of a small one, it’s just too soon to think about committing my time to graphic design just yet. Besides, I’m really enjoying my time with Hunter Jr and I know I won’t get this time again.


Rest assured, I will be back. And if you happen to catch me walking along the coast wielding a buggy and a takeaway coffee, please say hi. And I’d like to say a huge thank you to my loyal clients for checking in on me and asking after my new role as a Mam. I might not be getting on my socials as much as I thought I would but I’m really lucky to be able to take advantage of some amazing local businesses to help me manage my communication while my attention is needed elsewhere 👶. Thank you to Laura Fellows and Helen at In the Detail for keeping me visible and ticking over. And just to add that, if you see my social media posts in the coming weeks, the chances are it’s not me posting, but my support team beavering away in the background. So please don’t be offended if you message or comment and I don’t reply quickly.


The main thing is, life’s happily busy, we’re all healthy – we hope you are too.

Sam


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