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The Juggle: work, maternity leave and a new baby

I just realized today that I’m going to have a baby. A real-life baby to care for and nurture. And a career to balance. In 3 weeks…or less (if you ask my doctor).

Yikes!

Up to this point I hadn’t done much planning aside from digging the car seat out from the basement and conveniently plopping it in my dining room.

First, I had “the conversation” with my manager about maternity leave coverage. Of all things, this is stressing me the most out. So much is changing and happening in my department this year that I feel as if I’m going to come back completely lost and clueless about my own projects. What if they find my replacements do my job better than me? Or have better focus and not new mommy brain? How am I going to manage nursing when my baby is 1.5 hours away? Will I be able to balance work from home days with office hours?

Secretly, I am still plotting how I will answer emails and do some work on my big project while I’m on maternity leave. Though my manager insists this is not good work-life balance. He’s right but still I have these crazy notions.

Second, I had an ultrasound followed by an appointment with my OB. Baby is healthy (5.8 lbs), good heartbeat, a reminder about calling the office when contractions are regular, take it easy. Yup-yup-yup-yup. Then he spoke my language, “You are 60% likely to deliver between now and your due date.” Huh???? I was a week late with Olivia and now I need to plan to get everything done in LESS THAN 3 weeks. Ok, breathe in…breathe out.

So now it’s 10 pm on a Friday and I’m still working and have started a “baby prep” list of projects for this weekend.

But, you know what, I’ll be happily snuggling a cuddly little baby in 3 weeks (or less). And that makes me excited. Everything else will sort itself out. Right?

3 comments

  1. Ruth

    Ruth October 12, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Enjoy the cuddles!

  2. MIchelle October 13, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    I am right here with you – only I have 6 weeks or less (my midwife also is preparing me for an early delivery.) I have thought about what if my replacement at work does a better job than me, but with the same thought, I ponder what life would be like to just focus on being a parent without the need to balance work and life – maybe because I know this our last baby and I want to soak up as much time with my girls before they grow up.

    I, too, have a list of baby projects, but here is the beautiful reality, we will have these miraculous little new people in our lives and like everything else, we will push forward and make it all work – why? Because we LOVE being parents and we have eachother to lean on!

  3. Adrienne October 15, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    I can totally relate!! My next little one is due in 3 weeks. I haven’t put his clothes into his drawers yet, haven’t gotten the baby bath out of the attic, and the list goes on… But having been through this twice before I too am comforting myself with the knowledge that it all works out. At some point we get to have the cutest little bundle in our arms and somehow all the other stuff gets done or we realize it really didn’t need to get done. As for work, it pales in comparison once the bundle of joy arrives. Instead of wondering what’s my boss thinking right now, I was too busy wondering what was going through my munchkin’s tiny little head. Hang in there, your bundle of joy will be here soon!

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