Recently I overheard a pregnant woman telling her friend she couldn't get comfortable enough to sleep at night. She said she couldn't wait to have her baby so she could get some sleep. Honestly, I laughed so hard coffee came out of my nose. Then again, I remember being that naive before I navigated my own maternity leave and life with a newborn. In fact, there were more than a few plans I made before going on maternity leave, that went right out the window once my baby was born.
Even though I knew I would have an infant to care for and a slew of new responsibilities that go along with that insurmountable care, I thought I would be able to do other things in conjunction. I really did view my maternity leave as a time to slow down and, I must admit, I even thought of it as a holiday from my "normal life". I was able to take six months off work, and that amount of time seemed like a luxurious break from the day-to-day grind of working and teaching and commuting. Oh poor, pre-baby me. What I didn't know about the realities of being home with a newborn could have filled a library.
So many of my well-intentioned plans for maternity leave went completely unfulfilled, like all of the following: