Chronicles of My Maternity Leave

Moment With a Random Stranger Equals… Comfort
July 29, 2014
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I just had my second baby. After any big moment in my life, I feel the need and urge to write down how I am feeling and reflect upon what I have done that year. I get all nostalgic…I think about what I have done so far and what I want to do. I decided to take a year leave with this baby and as I started writing in my journal and as I started writing…I decided that I would take my thoughts to a blog. I would write and share my year leave.

Welcome to entry one.

One of the things that I have spoken about publicly is around the topic of maternity leaves in Canada. In Canada women are entitled to a year. This is a huge difference from the 6 weeks that Americans are granted and I believe that this is a wonderful gift of time. A year can pass very quickly and I have decided that I am going to make this year one of the best and most meaningful years of my life. I will fill it with doing the things that I have always wanted to do and continue to do the things that I love but put some structure to it. I had my first child 2 years ago and I did not take a mat leave. I was headhunted for a role while I was just about to give birth and decided to take a condensed leave to pursue a fabulous career opportunity – this was my decision. I went back to work when my first son was just 2 months.

While the past 2 years have been incredibly intense and difficult, they were probably the most productive years of my life professionally and personally; I have learned and grown so much. This leave that I am about to embark upon is going to be very planned and deliberate, focused on all of the things that I love to do and want to do. It will include things as simple as trying new recipes, visiting places that I have not been to before in the city, meeting a friend that I have wanted to see for a long time but never made the time to, to bigger things like travel and major milestones around my thesis…and I will write about them. In preparation of this, I have decided to create themes around what I plan to do;

  •  Personal life – I have 2 babies now, a very loving husband and family. I am going to spend time nurturing my relationships and give them as much attention and focus as I would my career. I want to cook, explore new wines, new places in the city…and out of the city and Country that I have not been.
  • Athletic life – I developed a passion for athletics later in life, in my early 20’s. I started to get into running, then biking, yoga, swimming. I was never athletic as a child and found this new found hobby a challenge because it took a lot of perseverance and discipline for me but once I broke through, it was a feeling of euphoria. I started with a 5 k run and worked my way up to the NYC Marathon, then I decided to get into multi sports. I tried my hand at a duathalon, once I did that, I decided to conquer my fear of open water and completed a half iron man. Since then I had 2 babies so will now build a plan of races for the year and hopefully do them in great destinations so I can combine my 2 big loves…travel and athletics.
  • Academic /Professional life – I have started to talk about my academic work publicly. I have completed my first 2 years of my doctorate program and now have…oh only another 4 to 5 years to go. I plan to commit this year in shaving off a big chunk of this. When you do a doctorate, you have to first learn how to do it, then the school assesses if you are capable, then you have to start on your thesis; I have only completed a fraction of this. I don’t want to think about how much work is still involved because it is overwhelming so I will tackle it a month at a time and hopefully by the end of my leave, I would have made good headway.

Here I am at 6 weeks post-delivery…coming out of my baby fog…let the adventure begin!