I’ve recently gone back to work after 8 months maternity leave and it got me thinking about life skills you learn on maternity, whether you go back to work or not!
- Patience – most people would tell you that I’m quite relaxed and laid-back, so you wouldn’t really see me getting impatient – but nothing prepares you for needing to be patient until you have a baby….. my patience skills were mostly tested when trying everything to soothe a screaming baby or trying to get baby W back to sleep in the middle of the night when he really didn’t want to go back to sleep!
- Perseverance – similarly to #1, I seemed to find a new level of perseverance when I became a mum. No unsettled baby was going to defeat me. No amount of times singing ‘twinkle, twinkle…’ at 3am was too much for me. This life skill will be tested a lot more as baby W grows into a toddler, child then teenager but I always hope I’ll have the sense that I will never, ever give up on him.
- Putting someone else first – there were so many times in the early days where I didn’t eat all day, or didn’t find time to wash myself (!) or do the things I wanted to do. As caring as you might think you are, I don’t think you can every truly say you’ve always put other people first… until you’ve had a baby!
- Celebrating small achievements – we’re generally good at beating ourselves up for not doing stuff, or for not being perfect. On maternity leave, I think you should high five yourself for your achievements of the day whether that be getting your baby to nap, doing the dishes or having enough time in the shower to wash your hair!
- Multi-tasking – while some days you feel like you’ve achieved nothing, on other days you can feel like super-woman…. breastfeeding your baby, while preparing your own food, while scrolling through Twitter and watching TV…. Seriously though, my multi-tasking skills have improved no end since having baby W!
- Eating one-handed – I’m not sure when this skill would come in handy, but if there’s a one-handed eating competition anywhere in the world, I’m sure a mother would win it! After so many months of wolfing food down using a fork in one hand while seeing to baby with the other, I actually find it difficult to use a knife and fork now!
So there we have it, did I miss any other life skills?!