Sunday, December 30, 2007


I have just packed the Boy off to work on Day 2 of my maternity leave. He is rather jealous of the fact that I appear to have 2 weeks now of sitting around not doing very much. The Boy seems to think that this is something of a nice holiday for me, although I feel that after nine months of sickness, fatigue, loss of all body shape, backache and no booze I deserve something for my efforts! H, our nanny, was much more accurate in her assessment when she looked at me this morning in horror and asked why I was not going to work. She already has the measure of me and doesn't much want a caged animal getting under her very well organised feet all day.

I have already started to change. On Day 1 of the leave I got up, showered, dressed and had breakfast with the Boy. Today, Day 2, I got up and had breakfast but am still in my pjs. I have a horrible feeling that, left to my own devices, I might not make it out of bed tomorrow at all. Over breakfast I realised that the problem is that I am used to routine and targets each day. Our lives are full of very simple ordered things, get up, check emails, go to meetings, finish reports, make calls. Suddenly most of these are absent from my life and I am in a limbo where they are yet to be replaced with feeding and nappy changing.

So, what I need to do to survive the sheer boredom that maternity leave is rapidly turning into is to set myself new goals each day. Most of the goals I would normally have are out because of the Bump. So whereas I would love to be hiking over Lantau, rowing in a single scull every day, or going for long runs I am a bit constrained by, well, the possibility of going into labour.

So, I have new goals. My goal for today is to work all morning on my conference paper and get the reading done in preparation of that. By the end of this week I want to have a first draft of my conference paper finished. I intend to go for a walk each day (H reliably informs me it helps bring on labour if I keep walking so is taking me out each day - she is bored without a baby to look after too!). I also want to learn to bake, learn Cantonese, plan my trekking trip in Nepal, solve global warming and find the answer to the mystery of God.

Who said the goals had to be realistic or achievable?

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