Memories – how time flies!
My life, the way I knew it, had said goodbye forever. I often asked myself in the beginning, whether changing diapers and breastfeeding would ever stop? And what about sleep? Will these dark circles ever go away again or will I forever look like a panda bear?
Honestly… Maternity leave can get very lonely. My husband went back to work at some point and my mum, who came to London as support at the beginning, returned to Zurich at some point. Both went back to their everyday lives as they knew it. But what about me? I was home alone, in love with my baby, but alone… without knowing exactly what I was doing. Every day was like the other. The hours passed so quickly… before you knew it, it was 7 p.m. and you were still standing there in your dressing gown.
And suddenly you dare the thought: when can I leave the house alone again? When can I start work again? When will I have time for myself again?
Maternity leave isn’t a walk in the park
Many people think that maternity leave is a real holiday… ” You get to stay home and don’t need to work!” Sure you’ve heard a friend of a friend say that to you or a pregnant friend. Or hold on, even better is when someone, shortly after you have given birth, comes around the corner with his super funny joke “… wow, is there still a baby in there?”. Those people think that those jokes are funny, but NEWS FLASH: you’re just being a dick. But back to the topic.
How often do you hear from your partner: ” Be glad that you have time off, I would immediately switch places with you…” Ehm, yeah no… I don’t think so. A friend even once said: “…come on, you get to go for lunch and do some shopping …” And I must say, I WISH! But even IF that had been the case, I actually would’ve deserved it. I walked around with a giant belly at 30 degrees and water in my legs for about ten months. In addition, I was in labour for 33 hours! So… just saying. But no. Maternity leave is actually a reality check.
Realitycheck: Post pregnancy
After my beautiful Amélie was born, I could hardly wait to be with her. I had already imagined everything colorfully: the cuddling hours and yes, actually… one or the other walk in the park or meeting with other mums was also on my mind… but reality kicked in.
I was in so much pain the first few weeks after giving birth. Nothing seemed to heal like it should. Besides, I was completely sleep deprived and had no desire to visit friends or welcome visitors. I just wanted to be alone with my baby.
Don’t get me wrong: all these feelings and thoughts had nothing to do with my daughter. I was and am still overjoyed to have her in my life, finally! I appreciate every minute with her and my new little family. But I wanted a little bit of the old ME back. I wanted a little bit of my old life back. In other words: I realized very quickly that I wanted child AND career and not a year maternity leave.
Six weeks post pregnancy, I was already in front of the camera again, filming for my show “Flash”. It wasn’t easy… and by that I don’t mean the work, but to leave my little princess at home, whilst traveling for work. I missed her terribly, but I needed to get back working. I needed this balance, this part of my old life. I had done a miracle! I had given birth to a little healthy daughter and was full of pride. But 6 weeks maternity leave was enough for me.
Photo: Prosieben Switzerland
Maternity leave is not a walk in the park and certainly not a holiday. It is hard work and not every woman’s cup of tea. You get to know yourself from a new side. And that needs its time, which one should take. You have to find out what you need as a “New Mum” and you must not forget yourself. If you miss the old YOU, get back a little. Mix it with the new You and voilà… that’s the new improved YOU.
What this means for me…
… I’ve never been happier in my life. Today, four months ago, you, amazing Amélie, turned our lives upside down… made them perfect. For this I am forever grateful to the universe and your Dada.
Happy 4 Months, my beautiful baby… Mama and Dada love you very much.