Technically, I’m not on maternity leave yet, but I have been unexpectedly put off work on sick leave (nothing major, simply precautionary). Since I have about seven weeks to go (give or take) until Baby B arrives, I’ve got to figure out a game plan — yes, friends, I said game plan … you know it’s my favourite term — to surviving nearly two months off work.
Lindsey’s Guide to Surviving Leave from Work
1) Get out of bed at a decent time. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not anti-sleep-in. That said, on my first day off, I was wide awake at 5:45 a.m. and never did get back to sleep (my neurotic brain couldn’t stand the idea of letting me sleep in on my first day off). That’s the opposite of what I mean. I just can’t spend half my day in bed, and napping makes me cranky. Plus, keeping regular hours will hopefully make for an easier transition to the inevitable baby-induced sleep deprivation.
2) Get clean and dressed. While the obvious inclination, when I have no intentions of leaving the house for the foreseeable future, would to stay in pajamas all day — I just can’t do it. Nothing makes me lazier/crankier/slobbier. Even if getting dressed sometimes means clean yoga pants and a T-shirt, it’s still something fresh and different for the daylight hours.
3) Make intentions for the day. I can’t live without purpose. I have no problem with putting meaningless things on my list, like have breakfast and make lunch, etc., but there have to be goals in progress and a list to cross off.
4) Take advantage. I’m not going to lie — I checked my work e-mail A LOT during that first day. I swear I’m not so vein as to think that the place would fall apart without me. I was just … well … bored. I puttered around the house doing small chores, while also getting the doctor-recommended rest, of course. But I still couldn’t shake the feeling that it wasn’t quite right to be home during the day on a Monday. Thankfully, I’ve reassessed the situation and have realized that there are many things to do to prepare for Baby B’s arrival — not to mention that this is the last seven weeks of peace and quiet I will enjoy for the next 18 years or so — and this time off is a gift.
5) Talk to others. And by others, I don’t just mean talking to my two cats or my unborn child (though both are certainly effective in their own right). I’m trying to use this break from the office as a great chance to catch up on correspondence — sending messages, e-mails, old-fashioned letters and thoughtful cards. Spending the whole day in silence isn’t good for anyone, especially the talkative individuals among us. So I’m doing my best to make conversations happen, even when I’m solo.