resting and preparing

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Being on maternity leave is weird. It's like having my first summer holiday since school, but with this kind of nervous anticipation that at any moment, I could potentially be rushing off to hospital. It's weird, too, because I've never actually looked forward to feeling pain before, yet whenever I feel a twinge (which is probably just the weight of my baby pressing down on me) a mad part of me hopes it will get worse because that means that baby might be coming. Chris could probably give you a detailed report of how I'm feeling at any given moment because I give him a running commentary: tired, uncomfortable lower back pain, slight twinge on my right side ...

I'm also starting to fully understand why they call it 'nesting'. I literally am like a mother hen or something. When I'm supposed to be resting, I'll suddenly catch sight of the garden and then I'll be outside wiping down the chairs because they've got cobwebs on them. Or we'll be watching the TV and I'll disappear and Chris will find me twenty minutes later hanging up and putting away our clothes because the thought of them sitting up there in a pile is enraging me.

My favourite thing to do is just to look at baby's clothes. I can't get enough of them - even though I've washed and ironed them, I still have this made urge to get them out and smell them and cuddle them and then put them back in the drawers again, neatly arranged by size.

Is this normal?

However, I am enjoying the fact that I get to just rest for a little while, and I make sure I sit down and do nothing (in between the frantic bursts of cleaning and prodding baby to see whether she's turned the right way or not). I've watched a zillion episodes of Friends. I've read two books so far and finished one that I'd been reading for a while.

I've had lots of what I call 'God-time' too. I find solitude - true solitude, that is, without listening to, watching, or reading anything to keep my brain occupied - really difficult. Whenever I try to do it my mind wanders or I start pottering around. I tell myself it's because my brain isn't wired that way; that a mixture of how God designed me and modern technology that keeps my thoughts flitting constantly from one thing to the next. Today I pulled the blind right up in our bedroom and just gazed out at the tree moving in the wind and I laid on my pillows and thought: do you know what, this is actually pretty nice. I can sit here and think things through until there's nothing left and then just be.

Looking at this photo now makes me want to leap up and clean my windows.

Maybe 'switching off' is something that can be learned after all.

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