Six to eight weeks is a standard, usually unpaid maternity leave in the states. We’ve come to expect it and accept it.
If you are a mother or a father, or anyone who has ever held an infant, you understand that six weeks is not enough time.
Six weeks is not enough time to
Hold your baby
Feel like yourself
Get used to a new routine-less routine
While I remember some very joyous moments and happy times during my little baby’s first year, I also remember being torn Monday-Friday. When I was at work I felt like a horrible mother. When I was home in the evening, I held my sleeping child and remembered all the things I had forgotton to do at work.
Feeling like a crappy worker and a crappy parent left me depleted, unproductive and unmotivated.
While the perfect circumstance for me would have been not to go back to work at all, if I had been able to “be in the moment”, I could have eliminated much of my heartache.
How often are you in one place, thinking about another?
Stay in the moment
- Breathe. When all else fails, turn your attention to the simple movement of your breath.
- Write. When your mind starts to wander, take a few minutes and jot your thoughts down about the place you are not.
- Mix it up. Is there something small you can change to make the place you are more appealing? Add music or a change in schedule.
- Engage. Why do you have time to think and live somewhere else? Dig in and engage in what you are doing.
- Give thanks. Maybe your current situation is not ideal, but it could be worse. If you find yourself complaining, turn to gratitude.
- Get out. Maybe it’s not a permanent change, but perhaps a walk will help clear your head.
- Really change. If you are often thinking about somewhere else, or unhappy on a daily basis, put change in motion…right now.
Keep in mind that “being in one place and thinking about another” doesn’t always mean a physical location. Maybe you are overweight and always thinking about being thin, or single and always thinking about being married. There are some places you can physcially walk into (and out of) and some places that live in your heart and head. Your thoughts are just as real as what you do every day.
I meet people today that are like I used to be. People that wish they could be in two places at once. People that say things like, “I wish I could clone myself to get more done.” If that’s you, look for ways to start living your life instead of wishing it away.
You have a lovely life. It’s time to start living it.