Just Trying Not To Lean Out

Long time no post. Over the past few months I’ve been getting to grips with being pregnant again. Turns out a girl can forget what it is like when you leave a 4 year gap between children. I can’t complain as I have had it pretty easy both times. Still there are definitely differences this time. With a four year old running about chances to rest up are hard to find. Luke combined with a role with more responsibility have left me feeling pretty tired and this time I didn’t escape the dreaded morning sickness. Now I’m in my second trimester I can feel my energy coming back and the thought of travel doesn’t fill me with dread (as it did when I was trying to not succumb to sickness)

This second baby is very much wanted. To be honest it is long overdue as after Luke I put things on hold so I could have a bit of career time. Coming back from maternity leave is not the easiest. A year out of the office (my choice I know and one I’m lucky to have) can leave you feeling a bit shaky in confidence and it definitely took me a bit of time (and complaining) to make people realise I didn’t want to coast. Once I did I got on to some really interesting projects and I’ve had a ball. Having a second baby is definitely not an excuse to escape work (if you’ve ever tried being home 24x7 with a child you’ll know this is a pretty bad plan as there are literally no breaks. You can’t pee alone and chances of drinking your coffee while hot are slim) but I didn’t want to leave any bigger a gap.

I’ve definitely had to make some adjustments to my expectations of what I can achieve over the past few months. I’ve fought the tiredness but reality is I haven’t been able to dedicate as much time outside of work to things as I’d like. I’ve a pretty extensive list of books, podcasts and courses that I haven’t got round to completing and as shown by the gap in posts the blogging has gone a bit out the window (lots of ideas but not the matching energy/motivation to write). I’ve had to cut myself some slack and accept that I can’t do quite as much as I normally would and I’ve skipped on a few opportunities I normally wouldn’t. (I make this sound like I accepted this easily. No chance I’ve been pretty humped about it and resisted giving in) I’ve tried not to lean out i.e. I’m still giving my all to the essentials like my day to day job and coaching but I’m just not volunteering for as much extra stuff as usual. It’s not that I care less about my job or have lowered my expectations its just the reality is my body is busy making a baby and that takes it out of you.

The thought of being on maternity leave is amazing and scary. I can’t wait to spend quality time with baby Campbell 2 ( or Yoghurt Baby Campbell as Luke has named him… best not to leave name choices to 4 year olds I think) Plus it is Luke’s first year at school so I’m glad to be able to devote time to getting him settled and helping him adjust. I learnt a few lessons from my first return from maternity leave and I’m trying to put the ground work in to ensure a smoothish return. I’ve spoken with my coach about my concerns and we’ve agreed to come up with a training plan to get me back up to speed. I’ve made clear my desire to continue enjoying my career and taking on challenging roles. I probably shouldn’t even be thinking about it now or during maternity leave but I really felt like everything stalled last time and I can still remember how frustrating that was.

When I was off on maternity leave last time I took the time to upskill in a number of things including Scala and Ruby. Nightly feeds were often to a tech podcast. (What else is there to do at 2 in the morning) There are already a million things I want to learn on my maternity leave like finally getting to devote some time to Clojure (just because I want to, functional programming appeals to the mathematician in me) obviously I’m blanking out the lack of sleep and attention a new born requires. Something makes me think I’ll have to reset my expectations again in a few months time.