I’m a big fan of pre-baby maternity leave! Originally, my logic was that I wanted to tie up all my loose ends at work. I didn’t want to be in the office one day and out the next having a baby. I knew I would be less stressed if I took care off the details in advance. It certainly made for a busy summer at work because I took care of the fall season at the same time. I feel good about how I left things in the office. The plan seemed to work. However, I started to think about how I would fill my time once I was maternity leave. If you’ve been following my blog for any length time, you know that I don’t sit around watching TV and eating bonbons. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m using this free time to connect with a lot of people before the baby comes. I’m having my “Social September” and I’m enjoying time with loved ones.
It’s only been two days of “leave” and I’ve managed to do a lot around the house. I have done three major baking projects. The first was a favorite for Jeremy called Hello Dollies. He loves these and I always make them in the fall – usually around the holidays. I wasn’t sure what my holiday season would look like with a new little one, so I made these goodies in advance. He is enjoying some now, but we froze most of them so he can pull them out at will over the next few months. The second project was out of this month’s Food Network Magazine. I had the ingredients for Butterscotch Pecan Blondies and I needed to bring a snack for MOPS this morning. It seemed like a good opportunity to try a new recipe. They were a hit! I think they are slightly addicting so I’m glad I could share them with the MOPS moms and our staff at work. The final project was for my Wednesday night class tomorrow night. I have fall cookie cutters that I try to use once a season and this was the time. I spent my afternoon making cookies, frosting them and covering them with autumn colored sugar crystals.
Other highlights apart from baking, I’ve had plenty of time to clean and tidy my house. My regular cleaning day for the longest time was Wednesday, but the last few weeks it’s been Mondays. I’ve also had time to read and relax with my puppy. I think that Toby is enjoying my new schedule since he gets to be out of the crate more. Yesterday I took an afternoon nap! I try to get those in as often as I can since sleeping at night has become harder.
Today was my first MOPS meeting. I’ve never been involved with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) because I’ve never been one. I still don’t really feel like I’m a part of the club. Maybe because my baby has yet to be born so the motherhood phase really hasn’t started. MOPS has always been a bit scary for me in the past. Moms intimated me. I’ve been told “Oh, just you wait…” so many times that I feel like they don’t validate my experience working with children. Anyway, this is a new opportunity for me and one that I’m hoping to grow from. Today was a good start, but I’m still unsure how the year will look. I felt like a kid on the first day of school. I really hope the other kids like me… We even had to take pictures for the directory so it felt a lot like back to school. I’m praying this new season of life will open up ministry doors that have been previously closed to me. By actually being a mom in the near future, I pray that I’ll be able connect and relate to this group of women in a new way.
In a lot of ways this season is about slowing down and just enjoying each day as it comes. I know that things will be different once the baby arrives, but for right now I’m just making the most of this pre-baby time. Doing things like baking and having quiet moments around the house really fill me up and give me what I need. In turn, I’m able to be social and add commitments to my calendar that I wouldn’t normally. Even though I’m “out of the office”, I’m still serving at Bethel and it feels good to keep investing in relationships as we begin a new school year. Things are good. I’m enjoying this time.