I am on my second maternity leave now and although it started in a rather unconventional way with lots of hospital visits we are now in the midst of ‘normal’ maternity leave. However it is quite different this time round than it was when I had my first baby. I asked a couple of friends who are on maternity leave with number two or have recently been on it what they thought too. Here are our 5 reasons why maternity leave is different second time round.
No more PJ days – Now my eldest is in preschool there are no more lazy baby mornings. With Little Man I would do the early morning feed and then get back into bed for a couple of hours or potter about in my pj’s till lunch time. Some days I wouldn’t get out of them until it was time to put a new pair on. Not anymore, we have to be up for the preschool run and out the door at 8:15am. Milk is poured down Little Lady in the hope that she will then sleep and then a crazy hour of breakfast, uniform putting on, snowsuit battling and me saying ‘put your shoes on’ 35 million times begins. Oh I miss my pj’s!
I have in house baby entertainment – Little Man is Little Lady’s favourite thing to watch. When I am waving toys in front of her or trying to make her smile I am nowhere nearly as interesting as Little Man doing car races on the floor. She kicks her legs and squeals in excitement as he races past her, often stopping to pat her on the head (be still my beating Mummy heart!). Their bond is beautiful to watch.
Its not all about the baby – My friend had this to say : I definitely had more cuddly snuggly moments with E (number 1). My partner would leave for work and sometimes E & I would still be in bed. We would just snuggle and stay in bed and have relaxing Mummy and baby time. Now T (number 2) is almost neglected! A quick bottle and then popped in the baby swing whilst I get E ready for preschool. If I’m completely honest I still feel like E has more of my attention. She wants to play games which is lovely so I play with her whilst T is kicking around on his playmat. I still play with him but I guess with E she had my attention 100% of the time and T will never have that because he will always have a sister to share my time with.
The routine is a little off – Routine, routine, routine. This was my mantra the first time round. I made my life fit around Little Man. He would feed at perfect times, he would have the bedtime routine of dreams and he would of course nap at home in his cot. Not this time. Little Lady fits in around us; she feeds around preschool runs, she naps on the go and her bedtime routine is sketchy to say the least!
Time flies – Another friend told me about her 2nd maternity leave too. I think for me the main difference has been that my days didn’t drag as much as the first time. Doing the school runs and having E (number 1) to keep me company from 3.30pm every day really helped to keep me sane. I’ve also felt more confident in Mother & Baby groups this time. I tried to appreciate the time I had with G (number 2) more too as I knew how fast time flies. With E I almost wished my maternity leave away waiting for her to reach her next milestone, but this time I treasured the time I had with G more.
Have you found any differences with maternity leave second, third, fourth time round? I loved it with Little Man and I love it with Little Lady; it’s safe to say it is much more sleep deprived and I never really sit down unless I’m on the loo but I am having a ball!