Thursday, July 30, 2009

Maternity Leave - The Final Frontier

As I suspected during the ominous lull in the slow-like-molasses days prior, as I made final preparations to leave during my last two weeks in the office, work suddenly became total insanity. Our busy season is officially upon us (GREAT time to have a baby, Paige!!) and all the lovely downtime I had previously enjoyed quickly went the way of the dodo, leaving me with precious few moments to enjoy my beloved blogging time-waster - alas. As the days ticked on, each evening I would arrive home totally spent, unable or unwilling to do much more than stagger to the kitchen to stuff my face with something vaguely resembling dinner before curling up on the couch to gestate in front of the latest season of "24" on DVD (bless you, Jack Bauer!).

Today marks my second day of maternity leave. Initially, I had assumed it would be fairly simple to leave work in the dust as I rode off into the sunset of impending motherhood - instead I found myself surprisingly emotional. My department has undergone innumerable transitions throughout the past three years, growing significantly from back in '06 when I was first hired. Back then, it was just me and three others - the original troops, the old guard.

Earlier this week, I went into my boss's office to say goodbye. She was in there with another of the forefathers of our department, a director with whom I share a satisfyingly playful sibling-like rivalry which manifests itself in daily harassment and mockery.

As I bid my farewells, both of them were so wonderfully supportive, so genuinely excited for me - "We'll miss you! Send us pictures!" - that I left the office with my eyes full of tears. What the--?!? Three years of bitching and moaning about the various maladies befitting office politics, and now I'm a weepy mess when faced with the prospect of over four months without them?

I suppose the simple truth is that I am actually fortunate enough to work with good people, and that after spending almost one-third of my life and the majority of my waking hours with them for the past several years, they have become almost like family. Dysfunctional and chaotic family, but family nonetheless.

Thus, here I sit - two days into the Great Baby Countdown. I am due in 27 days, and full term in less than a week, meaning the baby could ostensibly come anytime after that. I have a sneaking suspicion that LOOL will actually be late, which I am basing solely on the fact that I always had a 30 or 31-day cycle, instead of the standard 28 which they use to calculate due dates. But we shall see....

Yesterday flew by rather quickly - I did dishes, swept the floors, wrote the rest of my thank-you notes (all 54 of them - we have very generous friends!) for my two showers (more on that later), washed all of the baby's clothes, went to a doctor's appointment, ate cookies and wandered aimlessly around Target.

Today I checked emails, vacuumed the floors, walked to the mall, researched vaccines to be sufficiently - nay, impressively - prepared for our initial pediatrician appointment tomorrow, washed some grown-up clothes, ate cookies and wandered aimlessly around Target.

I am a person who craves activity - I function best when confronted with a to-do list, where each thing I cross off imparts a satisfying sense of pride and accomplishment. Downtime doesn't generally suit me. Now I find myself with scads of it, and most baby-related items already checked off the list. This begs the question - what the hell am I going to do with myself for the next four (potentially) weeks? There's only so much apartment-cleaning and Target-wandering that a girl can handle.

One day at a time, I remind myself each morning. After all, if ever there was a time to feel justified in doing next-to-nothing - sleeping til 10, reading magazines on the couch, chatting endlessly to old friends - now is it.

Here goes nothing.

1 comment:

The Mama said...

I totally understand how it's hard to leave work - it's strange how you get really attached to it. Enjoy your time off! Everyone tells me to "rest while you can" because once the baby comes it's crazy. But it's hard to do when you are usually so busy. But it's good to take this time to shift gears.