Leeds, UK

This post contains affiliate links to Blogger to Boss.

Before I started my maternity leave, back when I was a naive pregnant lady I had X Y & Z planned for my time away from work, and here we are six months later reflecting on what I have… And haven’t done.

We went in full steam ahead with regards to taking Amelia swimming & I’ve said this many a time, but in hindsight I think we took her too early. We started taking her to Turtle Tots at Temple Newsam in Leeds when she was two weeks old and for the first month or so she did nothing but sleep through the classes - And even though it was lovely to get out the house & meet new parents with their adorable babies, I couldn’t help but feel like it was a total waste of money.

The vast majority of babies who attended the class were 6 months+ and you could see that they were much more interactive than our tiny baby was & they were able to enjoy their time in the water.  much more than Amelia.

The only benefit I’d say it had for Amelia was with bath times, but like I say it was a pretty pricey activity just to get her used to being in the tubI think we will take her back to Turtle Tots, but we’re going to wait a month or so before we get her booked in again.

Okay, so this one’s also a bit of a fail! For Christmas my sister bought me the Harry Potter books & I had all intentions of reading all seven before the end of my maternity leave. 5 months in & truth be told I haven’t finished the first one yet!.. Although we have had a movie marathon again, if that counts!

Now I know reading is a matter of priorities because in honestly I probably have had the time to get much further through the books than I actually have, however what I’ve done is chosen to prioritise other things... This blog being one of them – But we’ll get onto that later.

On a side note I’m currently experiencing quite a lot of headaches which I think has come from a mix of dealing with a crying baby, being sat staring at either a laptop or phone screen & not getting all that much sleep and I really think getting back into reading will help alleviate that. Harry Potter & the philosophers stone is currently sat on my bed side table, so it’s not as if I can’t see it, it’s a constant reminder for me to start reading & I really hope I can get back on track with it all – Watch this space!

I’ve not actually booked onto a course yet, and although it’s still something I’d like to do, I don’t think I’ll be getting my quill out any time soon.

I love the idea of calligraphy & setting up my own business selling prints and making custom pieces, but the reality of it is, is that I want to prioritise my blog & I really don’t think I have the time for both… Not when you throw looking after a baby, a husband, a dog and a home into the mix too.
That’s not to say it’s not something I won’t pick up in the future though.

I think when you’re at home all day looking after a baby it’s imperative to get yourself out of the house. It doesn’t even have to be particularly outdoorsy, even just a trip to a local coffee shop, or to the supermarket brings a change of scenery & breaks up the day a bit – And I think for your own sanity, it’s SO important.

When I first had Amelia I was really nervous taking her out, especially on my own, as it felt like a totally alien situation. In fact, every first you have with a baby feels totally alien situation, but the more you do it, the more you get used to it & the more comfortable you become. And that’s exactly where I’m at today.

Although I don’t put pressure on myself, I try and get out of the house every day. We have a weekly play group that we go to on a Tuesday, but throughout the week we’ll walk up to the Asda, go to the White Rose shopping centre or talk the dog for a walk. Sometimes we’re out for half the day, other times it’s half an hour. I don’t think it particularly matters how long you’re outside for, just as long as you have something to do that day.

This one makes me so sad! I spoke previously about how I’d loved to have taken my family for a little staycation up to Huts in the Hills in Northumberland, but in reality, I just can’t afford it.

I’ve spoken before on my blog about how I’ve found itdifficult adjusting to a maternity wage and unfortunately as amazing as they staycation would be, we just can’t afford it right now.
I’m hoping that when I go back to work in January that we can get ourselves away to enjoy some proper family time.

My body didn’t spring back into place after having Amelia (I might talk more about this if you’d like to hear about it) but four months later I’m at a place where I’m relatively happy with how I look – Granted it’s different, but I’m working with it. I think this is where creating a new wardrobe and almost a new identity for myself has come into play.

I spent a weekend about a month or so ago gutting my wardrobe of all my ‘dowdy pregnancy clothes’ ready to make way for new pieces which I was so excited about that I went out and bought them very next day.

My wardrobe is now topped up with high waisted trousers and skirts along with smarter, more tailored shirts and crop tops. The only thing I’d say I need now is a pair of plain black skinny jeans, but I want ones that actually stay black!... I’ve had some from Topshop and H&M and even though they look fab to begin with, I’ve always found the colour doesn’t last too long, so if you know of any good quality black jeans, hook a gal up!

This is the one I’m most excited about and to be honest it’s only in the last few weeks where somethings changed for me & turned me from someone who blogs for a hobby into someone who blogs with a more business mindset.

And I think I have one thing… Or two people to thank… And that’s Bex & Codie from Blogger to Boss. Last month I took part in their 5 day free course where we had small daily tasks to complete in order to take our blogs to the next level and I have to say it’s really worked. Although I don’t have a great deal of content to show for it over here on this little blog of mine, my mindset has done a complete 360 & I’m ready to take on whatever this blogging lark has to throw at me.

Since doing the course I’ve applied for writing jobs & I’ve even managed to secure myself a paid blog post which you’ll see pop up over the next month or so. I started blogging five years ago, so you could say that it’s taken me a hella long time to get here, but now I’m here, there’s no stopping me!

The mum guilt was SO real when I went to Berlin last month! I felt awful leaving my baby, but I knew it’d be so beneficial for all parties. Dan got to spend more time with Amelia, she got to experience daddy daughter fun time & I bagged myself a much needed break.

While it's on my brain, there was a thread I read only yesterday on Facebook about how mums shouldn’t take time away from their babies as it’s irresponsible and neglectful & I for one was absolutely shocked at how judgmental some people can be. I honestly don’t know what is wrong with some popele…
It’s okay to want to spend time away from your baby.
It’s okay to want to have your partner enjoy your child as much as you have.
It’s okay if you want to take a bit of time out for yourself.

So here we are six months in to my maternity leave with another six months left to go. I’m certainly finding things easier since the newborn days but I still think there’s room for improvement when it comes to my productivity. I’ve been listening to Vix Meldrew’s podcasts which have really been helping me with the extra get up & go, and like I say the Blogger to Boss course was amazing at making me want to succeed with this online space of mine.

Here’s to the next six months, whatever they may bring.

Have you got any tips for increasing blog productivity? Especially when it comes to juggling that with a baby?


1 comment

  1. This is a great post to read, very real.
    I think there's a pretence that you'll have all this free time when you're off on maternity. People forget that you have a baby to look after and that is no easy job!
    Love that the things you have achieved have been for yourself. Happy mummy, happy baby. :)



C l a i r e M a c © . Theme by STS.