Friday, July 20, 2012

Reverse Maternity Leave

Reverse Maternity Leave \ri-ˈvərs\ \mə-ˈtər-nə-tē\ \ˈlēv\ n. opposite or contrary to <reverse order> a period of paid absence from work, to which a woman is legally entitled during the months immediately before childbirth.

I came up with that little definition by splicing together the definitions of the words on their own.  And why would I do that?  Because I had to come up with a name for the period of time I am currently in and how it feels.

I don't speak for everyone, of course, but I think for many women, when they leave work on maternity leave, before having their baby, they spend the time preparing the home... cleaning every nook and cranny, baking and cooking up a storm to stash in the freezer, ensuring the nursery is just right and ready to bring home baby, frantically trying to fit in all those projects you know you won't ever touch again after baby comes along and treasuring the quiet time to relax and kick back, because you know you'll forget what "quiet time" and "relax" means in future and they will, in fact, become a redundant concept!

So, what does this all have to do with me?  Well, I’m now thinking about all the things I need/want to get done before I return back to work next month.  The list is growing in my head and I know it’s going to have to spill out onto paper if I want to keep track of everything.

“Hang on, back up,” I hear you saying.  “Before I return back to work next month?”  Yep, you read correctly!  If you haven’t already heard, you’re probably thinking you’ve missed something!  And you have, except it’s not your fault because I haven’t written about it on my blog until now.  I’ll tell you more about it in a minute, but in the meantime, I want to get back to this “Reverse Maternity Leave” concept.

As I was saying, I have a growing list in my head of all the things I need/want to get done before I start work.  I’m thinking about:
  • getting the house thoroughly clean now so that I can try and maintain the cleanliness on a much more manageable level.
  • baking and cooking to put in the freezer so we have ‘emergency’ food for the times I don’t feel like cooking or don’t have time after a long day.
  • starting to look at what routines I’ll put in place to manage my time well (using my activity list – I’ll need to make some new tags!)
  • organising all the things Little Spring will need for child care – clothes labelled, spare clothes in abundance, toilet train her (Big Spring is doing a wonderful job of taking that in hand today!), paperwork to enrol her, register her with Centrelink in order to claim the costs, start taking her to the centre a few times, to help familiarise herself with the other kids, staff and surroundings.
  • fitting in some pampering for myself to feel nice and refreshed for my first day – massage (got a voucher for mother’s day… the perfect time to use it!) and pedicure/manicure.
  • buying new clothes – I got rid of all my corporate wear when I decided not to return to work after my maternity leave ran out.  I figured that I’d had all the clothes for so long that I was due new ones when I eventually went back to work anyway!
  • trying to knock off some of my 36 to 36 list, especially the ones that involve helping me clear out my office here at home.  It’s a huge, unorganised mess at the moment and it deflates me every time I walk in here!
All this feels very similar to how I felt when I left my last place of employment before having Little Spring way back in 2009!  There are obviously some different tasks to when I went on maternity leave, but the concept is the same.  It got me thinking about a name for this period and I did try inventing a whole new word, but couldn’t come up with anything catchy enough, so a splice of words that gets the meaning across would have to do!

Now, I did promise to tell you more about this new job of mine, but I think that this post is already long enough, so instead, I’ll do a whole new post on it.  Stay tuned for the next post, or if you’re reading this later down the track, I’ll link you to the post here.

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