Last week I wrapped up maternity leave. Has anyone ever referred to your maternity leave as vacation?
No? Just me?
Yea, I didn’t think so….
While it’s not exactly sipping umbrella drinks by a blue sea, I did have 3 months of not going into the office regularly. This is what I did:
--- Had a baby
--- Recovered from labor and started to get to know my new little guy
--- Hung out with my big kid – mainly building blocks or playing with his new sticker book, along with some trips to the neighborhood sprayground
--- The usual life maintenance like cooking, cleaning, and laundry, but with two amendments this year:
- We joined the Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative – it’s been fun to have our produce already packed up for us, we’ve gotten to try random new vegetables, and are eating a bit healthier. Our babysitter is an amazing cook so she’s helped us figure out how to use everything. We’ve been getting the veggie share, which I’d say is totally worth it (once you get past the "greens-season" in the spring. What can one family do with 8 heads of lettuce??). The meat share was also highly worth it. The fruit share had been so-so, but is picking up as more fruits come into season… Overall, it’s great to get local food, and really budget-friendly as well!
- We got a clothesline. Andy and I have the goal of being “net-zero” – producing more energy than we consume. This is a multi-year project we started soon after we got married. We have solar panels, a geothermal heating/cooling system, solar hot water, and other things. Apparently the biggest energy suck in your home is the dryer so we’re trying to cut down on using it. I didn’t want a clothesline covering our tiny backyard, so I hunted around Pinterest, found some recommendations to check out European models (apparently they know how to make better use of small spaces than us USofA-ers) and ended up getting the Brabantia Wallfix. I have to say – I love it – it sets up and folds down so easily, it does really hold a whole load or two, and it gets surprisingly enough air circulation to dry clothes pretty quickly. And – I’m actually enjoying the crispness of sheets and towels (childhood memories told me I hated line-dried towels).
--- We went to Pennsylvania and spent a week in my hometown, complete with a visit to the Wayne County Fair. This was not exactly relaxing, but it sure was fun! (did you see the "apparently" kid? That's where he was!)
--- Lastly, I started to work on my second book. The working title is “Whose Ladder Are You Climbing?” – subtitle: “Who defines success for you?” I didn’t make great strides in this area. It was hard to find uninterrupted time to think or write. But I started the outline, started some research, and did a few interviews. Here we go!
I’m not going to pretend it was an easy-breazy summer with no hiccups. I was adjusting to life with two-under-two, I have a toddler adjusting to his new baby brother, a newborn adjusting to this big, beautiful world. I had post-partum hormones, and sleep deprivation. It was not a vacation. But all those things considered - it has been a pretty nice summer. I started back to work last week and I think the routine is good for all of us!