Maternity leave for me started early (I explained why in this post). It is a decision I do not regret in the slightest. The bigger I get, the more uncomfortable I become, and I think the ten weeks rest I'll have had before I take my new title of 'Mummy' will have done me the world of good.
However I do know it can be really easy to find that familiar feeling of boredom creep up on you. I suffer from it more frequently than not. And with us still waiting for the house move to happen, and my increasing inability to cope with lots of driving (the call of the sofa is too tempting at times) I knew that in order to be super-productive and keep boredom at bay, I'd have to come up with a plan.
We're six weeks in to my time off, and here's how I've been making the most of it....
My poor little blog became a little neglected towards the end of last year. With quite an extensive break away, I really wanted to take the time to concentrate on all things Just Add Ginger before the baby arrives. This means - if I can - scheduling blog posts up until April (at least). Seemingly a tall order, especially with a move imminent, and therefore a lack of internet for a while, this has been my main focus. I have been aiming for writing at least two blog posts a day, alongside scheduling tweets and doing daily Instagram posts. So far I have done pretty well, aside from the one day I had to dedicate to sitting on my arse doing nothing because I had the worst night's sleep!
Linked to my invested interest in writing, and not just focusing on mummy-to-be books, I've also been making a conscious effort to switch off from social media from time to time and get my nose stuck into a crime thriller. At the moment my book of choice is The Loving Husband by Christobel Kent. Choosing moments where I feel totally relaxed (usually bath-time) I am reading at a slow pace to ensure I take it easy and let the story sink in. Once I've finished this title, I have two more books to get through in the next nine weeks (so I guess maybe I should start reading just a touch faster).
Sometimes I have just had to admit defeat. Combine a rubbish night's rest, sore back, and the fact that caffeine and I haven't clapped eyes on each other since the summer, and what you've got is the recipe for one grumpy Jackie. There have been days where I haven't managed to make it out my pyjamas, or met my self-given deadlines, and whereas normally I would be really disheartened, I've learnt to accept that this is just all part of the deal. Maternity leave is meant for rest after all, and it's pretty much a given that once the baby is here I'm not going to be getting much of that.
I've never been one for being able to cope with a load of mess, but since being on Maternity Leave it has been my mission to ensure that the house stays as clean as possible. Taking control of the washing up, loading in the laundry, and running a brush over the floors downstairs there is not a day that goes by where I don't find myself pottering around tidying up or re-plumping the cushions. And it's really made a bucket-load of difference. With Ryan lending a helping hand with the chores I can't manage anymore, the house has stayed looking spick and span. Something that fills me with the greatest amount of pleasure.
Although all these activities seem isolating, I'm not being silly. Ryan and I are actively taking time out at the weekends to get out the house so that I step out into the sunshine at least once a week. I have met up with family and my friends know that they are always welcome round for a cup of tea or to stay for the weekend if they have one spare. Mummyhood can be really lonely, and I'm not going to put myself in the bracket of becoming a recluse. It's just not in my nature.