Tonight I’m having myself a little ‘End of maternity leave Christmas party’. No one else is celebrating it’s just me, on the sofa with a brew and my pjs on all very low key, except for the Christmas Baileys nestled by my slippers (Well you’ve got to) And I’m not so much celebrating as much as marking this moment. Sure I have a lot to celebrate, it’s the end of an era! A pretty big era, actually. A pretty big season of my life is coming to a close.

I’ve spent the last six years having and raising babies and in between conceiving, incubating and squeezing, I’ve gone to and from employment. It has been a long, hard slog. It’s had extreme highs and sweaty, sleepy lows. Moments of praying time to fly by; willing the nights to be longer and wishing the days away. Through personal sickness, infant sickness, life’s hits and life’s highs my husband and I have journeyed through raising a big family. Many have looked on and asked why we’ve chosen to go big. Many have questioned our mental ability and most are just baffled by how we do what we do.

I always wanted chaos. Organised chaos I call it because there is always a method to the madness, a purpose to my plan. I willed each pregnancy test to read positive, I spoke life over the life growing within me and even in the midst of loosing two little lives that we longed for we still kept pushing on. This is the life I wanted. I live with my answered prayers.

So I raise my cup of tea to the depths of grief, the loss and sweaty, painful nights experienced. I tip my cup to the joy, the relief, the laughs and so much love if my heart had arms they would constantly be holding on to each blessed moment.

Motherhood is not an easy road to tread. If it’s thrust upon you or each step carefully marked, whichever way it happens it’s definitely not a journey for the faint hearted and my journey is far from over, God willing, but the baby stage is four months from being over and I look forward to jumping into a new season in two weeks time.

So, Jen, happy ‘End of maternity leave Christmas party’ enjoy yourself, drink responsibly because you’ve no chance of a lie in ever again and relax because… “IT’S CHRISTMAS!!”

(And yes that is a child’s empty cup I’m holding because, well you’ve gotta to toast with something and I just came down from putting the kids to bed. It’s all rock and roll)

On Wednesday’s I wear PJ’s

Wednesday is my childcare day.

I am still on maternity leave so I get to spend the entire day – alone – with my baby. Of course when I say ‘day’ I do mean in-between the school hours of 9am to 3pm.

I often forget I am on maternity leave. I officially go back in January and Christmas feels like its next week and although I’m ready for it, I’m also aware that January follows December and with the changing of the calendar so to is my next season ushered in and this will be my last ever maternity leave. My last chance to spend a day doing nothing but staring at my baby who by next year will no longer be a baby but turn into a toddler and time will keep marching on and I will be forever catching my breath wishing I’d spent the day in my pjs staring at my baby.

You see after each child was born I knew there would be another one to come and another maternity leave. More often than not the first thought on my mind after a positive pee-on-the-stick reading was, “Yay no work for 9 months!!” But this baby is the last. No more pee-on-a-stick joy and no more maternity leave and while I am more than happy to leave the stick peeing days behind me I will be sad that there will be no more precious, government given time to bond with my child.

But today marked a mental change of pace.

For a few months now, until today, I have felt guilty that I don’t do more on these days. I’ve felt perhaps I should be doing jobs. Catching up on cleaning, washing, ironing, the food shop bla bla bla. I’ve spent a few of these days doing these things, until today.

Today after I dropped off my toddler at Grandma’s I told myself; “I am on maternity leave!!” and I ignored every inclination to begin a list of jobs and we led there, she and I underneath the play-mat examining all the items one could wrap ones gums around and we had a great time. We even had a snuggle on the sofa to a naff Hallmark Christmas movie and one of us even fell asleep.

So from now on … until January, I will ignore every inclination to pick up a hover, put a wash on or clean a bathroom. On Wednesday’s I will wear pjs. (Preferably after the school run although I have been known to throw on some ‘athletic’ looking leggings all the while having my fluffy pyjama top on underneath my coat. People may think my bottom half is going to the gym. It isn’t. It’s going to sit on a sofa all day) Maternity leave heaven.