My maternity leave: Not all it was cracked up to be

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I had all these plans for maternity leave. Plans to go to my first Austin farmers market. Plans to take my daughter to swimming lessons. Plans to take a mini vacation to a nearby town. None of these things happened. I only have a week and a day left, and I have no idea where the time went. Most days were spent hanging out at home, a neighborhood park, or meeting up with friends. Most evenings were spent cuddling with my babies as they drifted off to sleep. Then of course my nights were spent watching TV show marathons on Netflix.

I had plans to reorganize my daughter’s closet, revamp my websites, and complete a multi-backup system for all of my digital photos. I’m only beginning to make a dent in all of these goals. Instead, I’ve spent much of my time making up stories with my daughter, and getting acquainted with my sweet baby boy.

I’d hoped I’d be some kind of master chef by now. Instead I’ve discovered I love to bake, and I’m still not very fond of cooking.

I thought I’d be able to keep a cleaner house since I’d be home more to clean it. But I’ve learned being home more just means there’s more of a mess to clean up. Cleaning then leaving the house is the trick.

I thought I’d still enjoy quality time more than quantity, and now I’m not so sure.

I hoped I’d be able to knock out at least a hundred Pinterest projects but I think I’ve done two.

Maternity leave is about recovery, and getting to know my new baby, but I’ve spent just as much time growing even closer to my daughter.

One thing I’ve learned during this experience is sometimes simple is better. After work I’d try to make up for lost time by planning fun activities and projects for us to do. Now, coloring a picture together, practicing writing our ABCs, or making up stories can be as fun as anything.

Lately my daughter asks me to make up stories about herself as a princess. The first one I told was a rendition of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Since then, she’s enjoyed telling the story herself to family and friends.

Last week we were sent an HP ENVY X2 and an HP ENVY 120 e-all-in-one printer to try out and review, courtesy of HP. We were encouraged to make a craft or project together, so I thought it would be fun to draw out her story and print it for her to have.

I could tell you all about it, but instead I made a video of the experience, complete with silly outtakes at the end.

The video was probably just as fun to make with her as the story book (in case you’re wondering… Little boy was attached to me during most of the shoot, but quiet and asleep for most of the filming).

I’ve been thinking a lot about quality vs quantity time. I don’t feel like I see my daughter any more than I do when I’m working, but reality is I’m with her nine more hour a day five days a week. That’s insane. And you’d think she’d be tiring of me by now, but she’s attached more than ever, and always reluctant to go anywhere with her daddy when I’m not going too. She’s my little buddy, my tiny friend.

My maternity leave hasn’t been all it was cracked up to be. It’s been better.

Twelve weeks just isn’t enough. I’m just now getting the hang of things–into a routine, and now I’m going to change it all up again. Great.

Like our video? I’ll be giving you more details about the HP products in an upcoming post. I’ll also be doing a giveaway for the laptop/tablet, printer and a $50 Snapfish gift card.

I did this video review while participating in a program on behalf of HP and received an HP ENVY x2, and HP ENVY 120 All-in-One Printer, and a Snapfish Giftcard as a part of my participation.

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  1. The same thing happens to me on my week off between classes. I purposely asked for a week off so I could play “catch up” with everything else. I think during my last break I was going to do some closet cleaning, kitchen reorganization, work on the novel I am writing, work on my blogs, etc. I accomplished NONE of it in that week. So, now I am trying to keep up with my classwork, plan my kids’ schoolwork (we home school and start back 7/1 after taking several weeks off), and do everything I had planned to do that week. I completely agree on cleaning then leaving. I learned that little lesson years ago.

    1. It’s like time off just makes me unproductive. Finally, after 11 weeks I’m getting my act together, but I’m so late!! Good luck getting ready to start back up again! Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  2. Holy cuteness, I loved the video! Lil’ J is too precious for words. I will be on the look out for your post so that I can try to win that giveaway!!

    One thing I’ve learned is that your routine will change as soon as you get comfortable. It has happened to me every. single. time. Now with 3 girls, I’ve given up all hope for normality! (but we make it work!) 🙂

  3. Lil’ J is so cute, loved the video! Glad you had a nice maternity leave, hope you find a good routine when you have to go back to work.

  4. Your daughter is adorable! Listening to her talk reminded me of when my son was that age (he’s 6 now).
    I tried my best to what I could with my children on my last maternity leave but it just felt temporary to me knowing I’d have to go back to work. And when I did everyone had to adjust to our new normal. But I guess that is what big changes are, just making a new normal if that makes any sense.

    1. A true. I feel like since I’ve become a mother it’s all about finding my new normal. It’s getting faster to adjust but it’s still hard. Ad it’s so weird not knowing the future and how it’ll feel leaving two kids when I go to work.

  5. Loved the video and your maternity leave update! Lil J was hilarious! She’s so smart and adorable, good job, Mama! Hope you find that right balance and routine for all of you, once your leave is over. Bummer….I know it’s bittersweet! 🙂

    1. Totally bitter sweet! She is funny huh? Haha. She loved watching herself in this video too. She couldn’t stop laughing. I should make a video of her watching the video.

  6. So glad your maternity leave has been better than you imagined. I know that’s a great feeling.

    This video looked like something HP filmed themselves. Commercial/documentary quality. And I loved “meeting” Lil J. What a precious, smart girl.

    Looking forward to the giveaway! The products look cool (and the project you guys used it for was even cooler).

    1. Thanks GK! I’m so glad ill get to give these products away too! I love my readers so much and it’s so fun being able to give back! Y’all are like my virtual therapists 🙂

  7. Why would you WANT to do anything other than hang out with her and snuggle the new baby? She is too precious. 🙂

  8. I’m on week 2 of our 8 week summer vacation. I’m basically a SAHM for these weeks. I just got done looking around the house at all the messes everywhere and thinking there is just SO much to do on my to do list, I don’t even know where to start. Both kids are supposed to be napping and neither are. (It hasn’t been the best day) I doubt they will make it before my oldest one has gymnastics. Even with my crazy day, if someone told me that we’d be financially sound and I could quit or go back to teaching in Aug., I’d quit.

    I know when August comes I won’t get to do even half the things I want to, but it’ll still be a good summer.

  9. Also? Maternity leave is tough, because you just want to hang. I’ve been trying to “get home” since I was pregnant with my second. I’m finally almost there… and then things like the Huffington Post article make me conflicted! (See:
    GOOD LUCK on your transition back! You’ll handle it the way you handle everything else: head on and head high!

  10. You two are twins! I loved the mommy-daughter interactions so much I wasn’t even listening to the review–Oooops 🙂 lol Totally adorable.

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