Almost a year ago, I commenced my leave. I had approximately 7 weeks leave prior to my one year leave-without-pay starting. At the time, it felt like I would be on leave for what would feel like forever. I have been fortunate enough to be able to take as much time off as I was able. It’s something that I really do appreciate every day. But the time has definitely flown. Now, with only 3 months left before returning to the workforce, it feels like I have no time left and that the remaining time will be over in a blink.
I’m determined to make the most of the time off. I want to treasure this time, as I know it will be the last time I have any extended leave booked.
Before going on leave, I had so many plans in regards to what I expected to achieve while on leave. I had raised a child already, surely adding another to the mix couldn’t be that difficult?
My partner purchased new laptop for me. A gift I really wanted, as I was convinced I would have plenty of time each day to ‘nerd it up’ and ‘get my geek on’ by doing everything technical, so that when I returned to work, I would not only be able to keep up with technology, but would be completely ahead of the curve ball.
With my laptop all shiny and new, I had made a list of all the books I was going to read, and all the technologies I would master.
And then she was born. All that mattered was feeding, loving, and nurturing her, all the while, ensuring that her big sister ‘s life wasn’t impacted too greatly and that they would form a bond together that would last a lifetime. No pressure.
All things technical was instantly swapped with all things tiny. My priorities shifted completely.
I can’t even say it was the first time it had happened. It shouldn’t have been a shock. Prior to my first being born (literally days prior), I had signed myself up for a bunch of courses I thought I could do with all my ‘free time’. A previous avid gamer, I would spend my weekends playing video games. Prior to my first being born, I bought a lot of games I was convinced I would play. Those games, now 5 years old, still remain wrapped in their plastic.
I should have known better.
With only three months to go, the question remains, will I spend the time learning frantically all the new technology trends before heading back to work, or will I take time to smell the roses, enjoy all the baby cuddles and make the most of being needed so intently?
What did you do while on parental leave? Did you achieve everything you set out to do? Or like me, did priorities change the instant you held that beautiful bundle in your arms?