The question I get asked the most when people are trying to embark on a casual bit of pregnancy small talk with me whilst I’m trying to appreciate a nice stint of comfortable silence is ‘so, are you going to take maternity leave?’.
Of course I’m going to take a fucking maternity leave, Janet. What did you think? I’d squeeze the baby out and then jump in the car to the closest pink wall for a cute outfit snap sponsored by some high street brand?
Obviously I will take some time away from emails and contracts and invoices and producing regular content across my blog and Instagram, because let’s face it, I’d regret it hugely if I didn’t (plus, I’d probably actually break into a million and three pieces).
But do I have some big solid grand-plan? Nah mate, nah I do not.
Being self-employed, I’m not entitled to the classic maternity pay that most of you will be (there is a maternity allowance but I won’t bore you all with the lengthy details about why I’m not claiming it – but it comes down to Chris claiming Shared Parental Leave so he can have longer at home with the baby), so trying to decide how much time to take off really comes down to how I’m feeling with a newborn, whether I’m breastfeeding and whether my not-so-sizeable-stack-of-gold-coins has run out.
I’m planning on taking some sort of complete digital detox after the baby is born, mostly because I don’t want to be focusing on whether I’ve had any Instagram growth overnight when I could be watching my baby pull the best ever trying-to-do-a-poo face, y’know?
But I hadn’t really thought too much about what sort of leave I might need to take in the run up to OMG THERE IS A BABY COMING OUT OF ME day.
I told my boyfriend’s mum a few months ago that I thought I might take the whole of December off in a kind of treat yo’ self way, to watch Christmas films and bake minced pies and do really extravagant wrapping and just book in festive brunches with everyone I know in the local area who might have annual leave to use up.
She told me she thought it was a bad idea because I’d get ridiculously bored.
And on some levels she was right – I go stir crazy when stuck in the house. I like doing things, being productive. And fuck it, I like working.
But I also didn’t really anticipate how I’d actually be feeling for the last month or so of pregnancy.
I didn’t realise that actually, carrying around a baby that’s almost at full-term all day, every day, is actually pretty bloody exhausting.
I mean, I did, because everyone tells you over and over again ‘OH GOSH YOU’LL BE SO TIRED IN THE THIRD TRIMESTER’ and you’re like that’s a really sweet story, but can you pass me a chocolate biscuit?
But I also didn’t really focus too much on it. We’ve all been tired before. We all know that feeling of wanting to faceplant some sort of deliciously overpriced Starbucks coffee.
But lol, turns out end-of-pregnancy-tired is a bit more like LOL STAYED UP ALL NIGHT AT A HOUSE PARTY FLIRTING WITH A BOY AND THEN TROTTING STRAIGHT TO A NINE-HOUR SHIFT AT JJB SPORTS WITHOUT A WINK OF SLEEP tired, rather than lol, stayed up til midnight watching Netflix tired.
Except this time you’re not high on Pro Plus and the memories from the night before.
You’re just trying to navigate day-to-day life without driving into the back of someone or forgetting your name or falling asleep in a public place.
And, as you can imagine, it turns you into a complete hoot to be around.
Most conversations go a little like this: ‘Oh yeah I was just going to say… Nope, nope, it’s gone. I’ve forgotten’.
Swiftly followed by: ‘One minute, I just need to use the loo’.
So actually, it’s becoming clear that I am going to need some time out this side of the birth – mostly because my brain isn’t functioning the way I’m used to it functioning.
I am not as on it as I usually am, and trying to think of blog post ideas – let alone actually write them – seems on par with attempting to win University Challenge whilst drunk and on my own.
And so I just want to apologise in advance for any WHAT EVEN ARE YOU typos and poor use of grammar, for being slow, for seemingly being a 50% version of myself.
Because I am starting the wind-down sooner than I anticipated, mostly because my body and my brain have apparently staged some sort of intervention and forgotten to tell me, which is cute.
I’m excited to just lie horizontally and have the heating on and wear maternity leggings and watch Pointless and maybe play Super Mario Odyssey and eat cake and have hourly mugs of tea.
There will still be content for a little while longer both on the blog and on Insta but it’ll slowly become less regular over the next few weeks as I fall prey to lengthy afternoon naps and filming my belly moving about.
So yeah, it’s been swell lads, I’ll see you on the other side.