Maternity leave: just what the doctor ordered?

Maternity leave. I’m 11 weeks in. I think it’s changing me. I think it’s changing me for the better.

I used to work 5 days a week with a 40 minute commute each way. While I like my job, now that I’m away from the office, I feel different. Lighter? Less cynical? More optimistic. While “holding someone’s hands” in their darkest hour seems to be my calling, maybe it’s harder than I realized. Maybe I miss out on being present in other areas in life.

Today I went to Walmart at 9am. Because I can. I’m on mat leave. It was so peaceful at that hour. I witnessed the staff gathering together for their morning meeting and cheering re: sale goals and new employees. Afterwards I went for a walk at the river in town. I noticed high school students gathered under the bridge for a hang out. I didn’t know this was even a meeting place in our town. I think driving to the next town for work and working full-time has disconnected me a bit from where we live. I thought I was connected to our town before but now I’m seeing things in a new light.

I’ve noticed that I’m much more at peace these days. I try to spend some time every day on my spiritual life (reading a devotion, praying, etc). While taking care of a baby can get in the way, I seem to find more time to pray. I also like to watch a motivational/educational video while feeding Isabel nearly every day. The TED talks are excellent!

These days, I seem to think of others more often and seek out ways to encourage people. This can be via text, writing a card, or arranging a visit.

It’s crazy to think that in the midst of sleep deprivation and baby tears, I feel that my spirit is being renewed and refreshed. My eyes are being opened to things I didn’t see while working full-time. Maybe I needed a “sabbatical” from work. Much to my surprise, this maternity leave may be a season that’s helping to shape me more into the person that I’m meant to be.

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