I’m worried I’m in danger of this blog becoming a parenting blog! Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but considering I started out as a “fashion” blog, it’s an odd twist. Then again, I do prefer to describe it nowadays as a “personal style and lifestyle blog” where I share my outfits alongside my everyday life – and right now, that life is pregnancy!
So today is my last day at work. It’s totally thrown me. I’m excited to have some spare time for once where I don’t feel like I have to do certain things, but I’m also ridiculously nervous. I like to have my time allotted, and I like to be busy. It feels as though I’ve made my work a big part of my identity in recent years – considering we spend the vast majority of our lives at work, is it any wonder? – so I’m worried about who I’ll be without it.
So in stereotypical me fashion, I made a spreadsheet. Actually, I made several. I made a maternity leave spreadsheet at work all the way back in November; I made a maternity leave blog spreadsheet at home a couple of months ago; and this week, I’ve made a maternity leave ideas spreadsheet.
As I’m leaving work at a day before 37 weeks pregnant, I’m hoping for some time before the baby is born to myself. Since full term counts as anywhere between 37 and 42 weeks, it’s a tricky situation – I’m anticipating that I’ll either go into labour tomorrow and have literally no baby-free maternity leave, or that I’ll go all the way to 42 weeks and be totally fed up and wishing I’d stayed longer! Either way, my spreadsheet is full of ideas of things to do that it won’t be the end of the world if I don’t get done, but also would be really really nice to do.
I have SO much blog admin to do – in fact, it’s got a whole tab to itself on my spreadsheet! I’ve cut myself down to working on just two blogs over the past few months in anticipation of maternity leave – if you’ve been here for a while, you’ll know I’ve written and owned anywhere between 2 and 6 blogs at any given point! Those two blogs are this one and Big Cup Little Cup, and I’ve been able to dedicate a lot more time to them recently, meaning they’re both doing a lot better and feeling a lot fresher than before.
But there’s a LOT behind the scenes that I’ve been letting slide for a long time. It’s the kind of things that don’t get prioritised because there are always blog posts to write and photos to edit. Things like fixing broken links, organising categories and tags (from all that time ago when I moved from Blogger to WordPress and they didn’t import properly), and the biggest one – changing all my photos from pre-2015 from Flickr to WordPress. I used to use Flickr to host them as I ran out of storage on Blogger, but now Flickr costs £5.99 per month to hold them all…so I’ve got a mammoth task ahead of me of updating each and every one!
There are other smaller things too such as working through content calendars, scheduling social posts, taking photos for Instagram, creating new pins for old posts and more – the list is almost endless, but I plan to treat some of my maternity leave as if I’m sat at work, just using it for blogging instead. Otherwise, I’ll go crazy!
I used to swim regularly, but when the pool closed for a while and they continued to charge me, I cancelled my membership and didn’t renew out of anger. Well, I may have to go back on that now! I’m finding any exercise tricky right now, even walking, thanks to the pelvic pain I’m getting. I haven’t been able to do more than walk around a supermarket for months – and that kills! Swimming is supposed to be gentle on the old pelvic joints, and is apparently good prep for labour too, so I’m planning to get back on that bandwagon.
Similarly, yoga – I’ve slowed right down on this lately because of pelvic pain, when I’ve heard that in reality, it should help. Since I should have the time while I’m on maternity leave, I can look into the right poses I can do to ease the pain as well as helping me feel stronger and readier for labour. This will also help in terms of mindfulness and relaxation too.
On another similar vein, I’m looking forward to having some time to practice the techniques I learned in hypnobirthing. I’m very aware I still haven’t published a post on this (it’s coming, I promise – maternity leave job ;D), but basically, it’s already been SO helpful during my pregnancy in helping to alleviate any anxieties and fears I had around birth, just through the help it gave me to understand the process of labour and birth, the choices I have and more. But the relaxation and visualisation techniques are something I haven’t had as much of a chance to practice yet, even though I know these will be a big part of labour for me.
If you’ve been keeping up to date with my pregnancy diaries, you’ll know I’ve been on a HUGE decluttering mission lately. My brain is doing what it’s supposed to be doing and wanting me to prep the house for baby’s arrival! We’ve cleared out a lot, but we’re still wanting to get rid of more. Now that we’ve been watching Marie Kondo, as well as YouTubers who have excellent tidying and cleaning tips for households with children, I know I want to get rid of even more.
The main areas still to go are make up (I did this a few months ago, but there are still a lot of pieces I haven’t even looked at since then!), lingerie (I’m so sad! But a lot of most likely won’t fit me again), the rubbish in the garage and loft, and stuff we’ve dumped into the office and forgotten about. Soon, we’ll have nothing left!
Long time readers might know of my obsession with sewing and lingerie making that’s sadly fallen to the wayside lately what with everything else in my life. While a lot of my fabric stash and notions have been culled during this decluttering phase, I still have plenty left – as well as a lot of patterns I’ve been dying to try but have put to one side until I had more time. Well, that “more time” is now – hopefully!
I’m planning to make another baby nest (since the first one has become a cat bed…don’t ask), give a nursing bra a go (I haven’t decided whether to buy a new pattern or to tweak an existing one), make a pair of underwear for Ben from the Gable pattern by Made for Mermaids, and potentially get some baby outfits knocked up too if I can manage it!
Reading is something that can be difficult to fit into my life – the only time I really allow myself to read for long stretches is if I’m in the bath because I always feel there’s something else I could be doing like cleaning, writing, spending time with Ben. Because I drive on my commute, this time isn’t useful, and while I read on my lunch break when I can, I often feel anti-social if I’m holding a book while people are around.
But finally – I’ll have an excuse – TIME to read!! I also plan to take much of this time in the bath…although I’m getting a little concerned I may be getting towards the level of being stuck there when I want to get out now!
I mean, I cook every day anyway but we usually end up doing meals that take 30-60 minutes because it’s 6pm by the time we can start making tea after work and I’m generally starving by then! My goal is to plan some meals that we would normally reserve for the weekend during my maternity leave so we can have them on weekdays. Ones that take more than an hour to cook, or ones that have a lot of preparation that we wouldn’t bother to do on a weeknight. The ones that normally get reserved for the weekend.
Go to the cinema alone
A bit of a random one, but I’ve never been to the cinema alone and I feel like it’s a very independent and grown up thing to do!
I am also planning to spend some time with friends and family who are around during the day times too – take advantage of not just having to meet up on evenings and weekends! – but I want to challenge myself to do something alone.
Wash baby clothes
Technically, this is Ben’s job ;D He’s in charge of the washing in our house usually – he just has a huge interest in cleaning! – so he’s been looking into baby friendly washing detergents and whatnot. But I suppose I can stick them in the washing machine and organise them back into the nursery if I have time!