Thriving or Surviving?

I’ve had my latest Amazon book delivery in an effort to re-engage the brain cells on a level beyond Peppa Pig and as I’m approaching the final 6 weeks of my mat leave, it’s interesting for me to consider how I thought I’d feel verses how I actually feel.

During a long and difficult pregnancy, the latter stages of which were in the midst of a hot and sweaty summer, the prospect of a whole year off work stretched before me like the longed for glass of Pinot Noir that I was desperately craving.

The thought of being able to get up when I wanted, go where I wanted with my angelic little bundle of joy in tow seemed a tempting prospect indeed (Any mummy’s with babies reading, please quell those guffaws at my obvious naivity).However, when I was unexpectedly signed off work early at 34 weeks due to pre-eclampsia, I found the cutting of the corporate cord much more tricky than I had anticipated. My addiction to my iPhone, email and laptop was to be dealt with cold turkey. My high profile projects were halted in their tracks and my team for whom I felt ever so responsible had to go it alone. Did the wheels of commerce stop turning at that company without me? Of course not. Did my team collapse under the pressure of unexpected additional workload and call me daily to share their woes? Nope.

It seems to me that, from the perspective of the business, I kind of faded into maternity oblivion. I’d like to think as was highly valued, as we all would, by my employer but ultimately I was a small cog in a very big corporate machine.

So obviously, with that semi rational, though not entirely objective admittedly, point of view I should be bathing in post pregnancy glory. Away from the office politics and performance targets, living it up in coffee shops and singing nursery rhymes in church halls. Hmmmmm, not quite the rosy experience for me I’m afraid. Overall the first 8 months of maternity leave we’re pretty good and activity filled in the general theme of new baby. But now, we’ll frankly I’m a bit bored. And, if I’m honest, I’m a bit upset that I’m a bit bored. Shouldn’t I be all consumed by my lovely munchkin?

We’ll, in a word, no. Because I’m still me. The girl who likes to got out for drinks with friends, have a lovely meal with my husband and do a bit of shopping without interruption. And I like to work. Hats off to all those stay-at-home mums, you do a grand job. But I do appreciate the choices us gals have these days. And I choose to like working. And I choose not to feel guilty about that.

As for the Amazon delivery, I’m just a about to start Thrive by Arianna Huffington. I’ll let you know how it goes, but here’s a nice snippet I found when flicking through;

“The harder we press on a violin string, the less we can feel it. The louder we play, the less we hear…..if I ‘try’ to play I fail; if I race I trip. The only road to strength is vulnerability.”