11 Things I Planned to do on Mat Leave, Before I Realised Babies Are Effing Hard Work

At 35 weeks pregnant I had a lot of goals for my maternity leave. I was gonna bake cookies, organise closets and take millions of perfectly staged photos of my new little princess.

Then I had her. And, well, it’s 10 weeks postpartum and basically all I’ve done is produce milk and eat snacks.

The prospect of NOT working is a tricky one for some of us mums to comprehend. My day to day routine involves going to work. So, logically speaking, not having a job cemented in my schedule automatically frees up several hours every day, right?

To do what? Like many slightly delusional pregnant mums, I assumed I would have ALL the time to do ALL the things while my newborn baby blissfuly slept 16 of the 24 hours in a day away.

why new mums get nothing done

What was on my list of things to do? 

Here are a few things I assumed I would get accomplished during those first three months:

  1. Bake a bunch of healthy meals.
  2. Stage an epic newborn photo shoot complete with heaps of adorable props.
  3. Write super awesome thank you cards to everyone, featuring perfectly staged pic from above.
  4. Update the pregnancy book that is still sitting in my drawers…untouched.
  5. Go to Centrelink and sort out all birth paperwork.
  6. Wash down the walls, the windows, the fans and the skirting in the house.
  7. Clean out the linen cupboard and replace the current mess with cute Kmart baskets, complete with individual tags for each item.
  8. Do the same in pantry and laundry room. Also baby’s room.
  9. Join a bunch of new mum groups to meet likeminded individuals.
  10. Walk daily with baby with my fancy new baby carrier.
  11. Perform my kegal exercises five times a day.
mum central
Image via Monika Hobbs

And here’s what I have accomplished, so far:

  • Convinced the Uber Eats dude who dropped off Maccas to hold the baby for three full minutes while I peed.
  • Took 35 blurry pics of the baby, in all of which my boobs are on display.
  • Bought some thank you cards. Left them in the car.
  • Received an adorable “Baby’s First” book from a mate. Placed it in the drawer next to the untouched pregnancy book.
  • Called Centrelink three times, only to crack the shits, and hang up after 15 minutes of waiting.
  • Planned a trip to Kmart to buy woven baskets and tags. Bought nappies instead. And candles.
  • Washed the dishes. Once.
  • Ate the entire contents of my pantry. Then sent the MIL to the shops to restock the pantry.
  • Attended one new mum group meeting where baby shit all over me. Have yet to return.
  • Walked down the road twice. Both times the baby spewed all over the carrier.
  • Peed myself after a sneeze.
mat leave facebook meme
Image credit: Adele Renee

Okay, so clearly my to-do list isn’t going quite to plan. But, in addition to the above, I’ve also spent more hours than I can count expressing milk, cuddling my little sweetheart and just basking in the sweaty, spew-stained glow of being a new mum.

So the walls are still dirty and the linen closet is a mess and the Uber Eats dude knows more about my baby than he really should. But hey, I’ve still got two more glorious months of mat leave left.

Surely I can sort my shit out by then…

Are you on maternity leave? You’ll enjoy Life with a Newborn: Expectation Versus Reality. Have you met your Mother’s Group yet? How are you filling your time? Tell us below.



Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.


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