Back to work, inventing the stay-at-home mum, and mat leave career shifts

computer and dog calendar


Hoooo-weee. Life just got a whole lot more bananas.

I started back at work a few weeks ago, and although the last month of my mat leave was pretty much one big extended Sunday night of anxiety and dread, it’s actually been kind of nice. I get to talk to adults all day, and eat lunch at a reasonable pace without anyone screaming at me, and give my poor wee brain a break from all the mum-ness that’s enveloped it over the past year. There’s still part of me that wishes I could have stayed on mat leave forever, just hanging out with the small one and cooking and writing and wearing the same pair of sweatpants for multiple days on end, but life as a working mum? Definitely has its perks.

computer and dog calendar
This is my new Monday-Friday view. Yes, that is Lily on my desktop background. Yes, that is a dog riding a scooter in my calendar. No, I did not buy the calendar — it was just in my office when I moved in. But yes, I am obsessed with that dog now.

The biggest challenge, though, has been finding the time to do all the things I want to do, like blogging. And the things I don’t want to do, like laundry. And the things I’m ambivalent about, like showering.

Should I have told you I’m ambivalent about showering? We’re friends, right? I feel like friends can tell one another that kind of thing and have it be okay.*

Recently I started thinking about how great it would be if we could devise a revolutionary new system in which one of us could stay home to look after the small one and run the household. That brought to mind this article I read a few years ago, and I realized I’d just invented the stay-at-home parent.

Sometimes I think I’d love to reinvent myself as a stay-at-home mum, but then it occurs to me that I’d also need to invent myself a maid service because I am a complete and utter disaster when it comes to housekeeping. Also, it turns out I don’t much like sitting still (figuratively, I mean; I adore literally sitting still), and I’d probably end up spending most of my time at home embarking on some sort of new career — maybe writing or something.

Aaaand I just invented my maternity leave.

Just before said mat leave ended, I committed (optimistically? … foolishly?) to writing a regular column over at Sammiches & Psych Meds, so that’s kept me writing, but it’s also kept me very busy with deadlines. These deadlines are self-imposed: technically I can post whenever I want but in an attempt to be consistent I decided on a schedule of every second Thursday, which is more challenging to keep to than I anticipated.

Busy-ness aside, though, this whole writing endeavour has been pretty sweet. The internet is a fabulous place — you can go from office drone on mat leave to freelance writer and columnist in a matter of months, as long as you’re willing to put yourself out there, and as long as someone likes it. And even if nobody does, you can still be a blogger because that’s how blogging works. It’s just about the most democratic system there is. Or … is it socialist, maybe? I’m not opposed to socialism, in principle. At any rate, I don’t really feel like talking politics, so I’m going to stop here.

Go read my column! It’s written in the form of letters to my pre-baby self, and it’s about all the things no one tells you about parenthood. I would love for you to read it — and not only because they’ll pay me for each post that hits a certain threshold of views, either. Mostly because I like you, and I think you might enjoy it.

I’m glad we’re friends. Even though you totally judged me about the showering thing.

* Just to be clear, it’s not that I don’t shower. I do. Regularly. Frequently. Constantly, even.



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