Thursday, May 31, 2012

What I'm doing on maternity leave

I have about a half dozen food posts waiting to be written with related photos sitting idly on my camera. Though I'm on maternity leave, I just don't seem to find enough time to think up and type out posts. I got to thinking, what am I doing with my time (other than looking after a helpless little new life, of course) and what changes should I make in the last few months of my leave.

I had thought I would be cooking and baking lots of new and interesting things - and perfecting some favorites - as I became more used to motherhood and the baby became more sturdy. Of course, I was blessed with a child who NEVER naps. Thankfully, she sleeps well in the nights so we're not zombies. But in the day, she craves attention and is a social butterfly. Perhaps I created a monster. See, to stave off my own craziness and loneliness, I enrolled us in a bunch of activities and made sure we got out of the house at least once every day. I'm a scheduler and doing this made me feel ten times better in a short-lived postpartum blues bout. We go to Mother Goose, library story time, a baby playgroup, playdates, walks in the park and around our neighbourhood (and when its not so nice outside, the mall). And of course there's grocery day and stops to the second-hand store and other favorite shops to see whats new. Oh, and I can't wait to take her swimming!

My child will smile a gummy grin when strangers poke their head into her stroller and she has never fussed when someone else holds her. For this, I'm thankful...but I hate the stubborn fights she puts up every day when she refuses (with bags under her eyes!) to nap. How many times have I said to DH, Sorry, honey, dinner wasn't cooked again tonight because I was dealing with a cranky mess. And the baby is tired, too.

For example, tonight's dinner was a frozen chicken burger and a half-hearted homemade coleslaw (though, to my credit I threw in sunflower seeds and raisins & it was delish,). But I can do better! At least on the weekends. 'Common!

So, in my last few remaining months of leave from work I vow to not let this Amazing Awake Baby get to me. I will find time to have fun with food, to cook and bake, and I will write about these attempts here. I've also enlisted some family help to plant an edible garden and look forward to sharing that experience with our daughter. It's time to un-schedule some of my time and bond with baby in the garden and kitchen. Who knows, maybe it will even help with her first bites of solid food? Mamma's going to make a sauce...yes, a b├ęchamel. Can you say bech-a-mel? Good!

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