Chalk & Cheese - A story of two maternity leaves - Mums NI - A Hub For Parents in Northern Ireland

Chalk & Cheese - A story of two maternity leaves

Jillian Henning
Written by Jillian Henning on Wednesday, 13 September 2017 Posted in: Parenting

Chalk & Cheese - A story of two maternity leaves

After ten wonderful months on maternity leave I’m back to work next week and I can hardly believe it. I am mum to two beautiful daughters, Olivia who is 3 ½ years old and Zanna who is just approaching 9 months so this is my second maternity break from work and boy have the two been just like my daughters… chalk and cheese!

I’m sure any second or third time mum will agree with me (hopefully) after you have one it can be difficult to dedicate the same time and devotion to the next which has left me with some mummy guilt as I go back to work but at times like this it’s better to laugh than cry, so I’ll illustrate my point with some home truths in relation to myself… I hope some other mums can relate too...

The Morning Routine

1st Maternity with Olivia

The baby casually wakes up after a 12 hour sleep 7.30-7.30, drinks 6ozs and goes back to bed for another hour. Bliss! Sometimes I could have a little lie in myself, sometimes I would get up and have a leisurely breakfast while I waited on her to wake up or I would get some cleaning done so that would be it out of the way. Easy Breezy.

2nd Maternity with Olivia and Zanna

The toddler is shaking the stair gate on her room. I glance at the clock its 6.25am. It can’t be. NOOOO. I’ve just got back into bed after feeding the baby at 5.40am and my head is running through the millions of things I need to get done. When was the last time I had the hoover out? Who knows! I convince Olivia that it’s still night time and she needs to go back to sleep. “The sun is out mummy it’s time to get up”. She is three and has an answer for everything it would appear. Get Olivia dressed (negotiating the outfit is not an option) brush the teeth, there is toothpaste down her top now, change entire outfit and head downstairs for breakfast. “I want the pink plate” as I lift out the green. Make toast and put it on the plate. “I want the green plate mummy it’s my favourite colour” GRRRRRRRR. Will we make nursery on time? Who knows?

Activities on Maternity

1st Maternity with Olivia

Hardly had a minute to myself! We attended baby massage, baby yoga, baby sensory, swimming lessons, baby gym, music class, rhyme time, babble and bounce, crafty kids, story time, parent and toddler groups… you get the picture I’m sure.

2nd Maternity with Olivia and Zanna

Zanna went to a music class while Olivia was away for the day and swimming lessons just started while Olivia is at nursery. We also managed to make one baby sensory class -  woohoo! Definitely feeling the mummy guilt on this one.

Nap times

1st Maternity with Olivia

Olivia was text book. She slept for an hour in the mornings and anywhere up to 2.5 hours in the afternoon in her cot at home. I could have a snooze myself, browse the internet, watch trashy TV or just have a cuppa that is actually hot.

2nd Maternity with Olivia and Zanna

Zanna is a great sleeper so I've been blessed again. However while she sleeps I’m picking up 1200 seashells from the beach from every orifice of the house, putting on 3 loads of washing, emptying out the dishwasher, dusting while Olivia shouts at me to move out of her way as she can’t see the Trolls film for the millionth time (please note she does do other activities than just watch TV I promise) and occasionally some ironing does get done. Occasionally! 

Transport

1st Maternity with Olivia

I walked everywhere possible. Daily. I had so much time on my hands I didn’t need to drive plus the walking helped me get that pre baby body back. Well… I’m still looking for it somewhere.

2nd Maternity with Olivia and Zanna

I have to drive everywhere even to nursery that’s just across the road as I’m late and the novelty of the buggy board slapping against my shins has worn off completely. 

Baby Trivia

1st Maternity with Olivia

I knew Olivia’s age in weeks, days, hours and minutes. I knew all the milestones she should be hitting, the perfect weaning routine, her height, weight and even head circumference. I knew it all.

2nd Maternity with Olivia and Zanna

I just know Zannas age in months, had to order the free weaning guides online as I forgot what to do and when, can guess her weight judging by the size of the nappies and judge her development based on my iPhone pictures of Olivia at that age. 

Returning to work

1st Maternity with Olivia

I wept at the thought of it. I left her with her childminder for some settling in periods and cried my way around Tesco. I wrote 4 A4 pages basically of her life for the childminder i.e. Dos and Don’ts, her favourite things, what to do to make her laugh, her routine etc.

2nd Maternity with Olivia and Zanna

Zanna is off to the same brilliant childminder next week for the first time, no settling in period she will just have to like it and I’ll just have to hope for the best. I’ve written one side of an A5 piece of paper with her routine at the minute. I’ve told Olivia, who will be with her after nursery, to help the childminder out as she knows what to do. Basically I’m asking my 3 year old to look after her sister and the childminder is just there for support. Sounds about right I think.  I will also skip into work so I can have a hot cup of tea and go to the toilet by myself, it’s the small victories in life after all!

I still wouldn’t change it all for the world. I love my girls and I loved my maternity leave with them no matter how chaotic it was the second time around. 


Hi, my name is Jillian. I’m married to Christopher and we have two wonderful daughters Olivia and Zanna. I work Part time but family life is full on and you can follow what we get up to over on Instagram @hennathome or on Facebook @hennathome or follow us on the blog www.hennathome.wordpress.com

Tagged with: advice forum for mums, funny toddlers, having a baby, maternity leave
About the author:
Jillian Henning

Wife, Mother, Blogger & Instagram Mum

Jillian Henning
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