I’m on vacation. No, really.
My mat leave is over, folks. As of this past Monday, I’m officially on holiday time until I go back to work in mid-May. It’s … hard to fathom. I’ll survive, though, I think.
I should feel lucky, right? Lucky that not only do I live in a country where we can take a year off to bond with our babies and start getting used to this whole parenting thing, but also that I can actually afford to take the full year without going bankrupt. I have Justin to thank for that, since Employment Insurance alone wouldn’t begin to cover it. He works so hard. And soon it’ll be my turn to support him, since he’ll be in school.
Give and take.
I had an epiphany a couple of weeks ago, and it went a little something like this: my leave is ending, and things are about to get a whole lot nuttier up in here, and I’m already stressed out about a million and two things. Why am I stressed out? I’m stressed out about money, about going back to work, about putting the small one in daycare, about not knowing what kind of things I’m supposed to send with her to daycare, about how this whole gradual entry thing is going to go, about making a first birthday cake, about needing to get glasses, about getting everything done when eight hours of every day will soon be spent getting things done for other people, about managing mornings, about writing, about keeping up.
Keeping up is what it all comes down to, really. And the epiphany was that I don’t have to.
So I stopped writing for a while. I stopped pressuring myself to post. And I stopped meal planning. One day I even napped when the baby napped.
It was wonderful.
Like a vacation. Which technically the next few weeks are.
Vacation, had to get away.
I started this blog in part to document my thoughts, feelings, and memories of this new life as a parent. So that one day I could look back on these times and see a sharp image, instead of just a watercoloured blur. Plus, I always wanted to write, and maybe even see if I could make a career out of it. Being on leave gave me the time and space to do that, and the opportunity to have so many people read my words and be impacted by them has been incredible.
But also, I did it for her. I want her not only to have a keepsake to remind her of her earliest days, but to really get to know her mother. To know my fears, hopes, irritations, and the overarching love for her that fuels it all. To see me as a whole person. To know how hard I resolved to fight for her, even before she took her first breath. So that maybe even on those days when she can’t stand me, she’ll know I’ve always loved her, and always will (small one, I hope you’re reading this in about 2031 and maybe even cracking the smallest slip of a smile through your righteous anger).
This feels like a goodbye post. It isn’t, though. I’ve learned so much over the past 8 months of blogging and I don’t intend to stop — I just might need to slow down a little. This means I will likely be posting here less than weekly, because although I’d still love to make a career out of writing, the self-imposed pressure to post regularly was making this blog seem far too much like work. And I want to keep enjoying it, since currently it doesn’t make me any money. Even if it did, I’d want to keep enjoying it, because.
I guess what I’m saying is that from now on I’m just going to post here when I have something to say, rather than pressuring myself to keep to some sort of regular schedule. I have a folder full of drafts, some of which you’ll eventually see here once I’ve finished tinkering with them. I might still do some meal planning posts here and there too, but definitely not every week (and I’d like to experiment with different formats, e.g. a comparison of what we planned vs. what we actually ate, or even recipe reviews). I also want to focus more on submitting pieces to other sites for publication, and I’ll be sharing the news here whenever that happens — when I get published, I mean, not every time I submit, because that would be both boring and horribly depressing. As my blog readership grows (this is by no means a foregone conclusion — I want you to keep coming back, and bringing your friends, but given that I’ve just told you I’m going to slack off on posting, I recognize that may not happen), I might even toss in a sponsored post here and there. Only if it makes sense, though, because as you’ve probably gathered I’m not the most sales-y person, and I will never be able to utter the phrase “am I right, ladies?” without irony.
I’ll also be taking breaks, because I’ve learned I need those. Even from things I enjoy.
All this to say: I’m not exactly sure where we go from here, but what I do know is that I’m not finished.
Thanks for sticking with me. I’m glad we found each other.