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5 Things I Hate About Maternity Leave

5 Things I Hate About Maternity Leave

5 Things I Hate About Maternity Leave by Claire Hall at Tin Box Traveller.

I’m down to the final few weeks of the last period of maternity leave I’ll ever take. That’s right, we’ve made the decision that there will be no more little Tin Boxes, cute as they are.

5 Things I Hate About Maternity Leave - By Claire Hall at Tin Box Traveller Returning to work after Maternity Leave

So when I return to work in February I know that (unless we win the lottery) the next time I step away from a desk for any length of time will be when I retire. Eek!

Having 10 months off work with both my babies has been a fantastic experience. I’ve been able to be there to watch them grow, take time to regain my strength and indulge in my passion for blogging during nap times.

But wait a minute while I whip off my rose tinted glasses. It hasn’t all been lattes and lay ins. Maternity leave can be seriously hard work. Here’s five things I hate about maternity leave:

1.  Everyone thinks it’s easy

Maternity leave is a year-long holiday, right? Wrong! The cycle of feeds, nappy changes and washing – oh the endless washing – is exhausting. It may all be simple stuff but it is tedious. And if you don’t find a routine quickly you risk being buried under a pile of stained clothes and stinking nappies with a screaming baby as the cherry on top.

2.  The introduction to sleep deprivation

I can’t remember the last time I woke up and thought ‘I’m ready for today’. It’s been during maternity leave that I have understood the true meaning of sleep deprivation. When will the haze lift? When? Having kids without sleep deprivation – now that would be easy.

3.  I’ve got nothing to wear – honest!

After nine months of slowly packing away my pre-pregnancy wardrobe and being too tight to buy lots of expensive maternity wear I wanted to get back to ‘normal’ clothes fast. Seven months after having my second baby I’m still in maternity jeans. The old bod isn’t popping back as quickly as I’d like. All the coffee and cake can’t be helping but that’s what’s keeping me going. Having clothes that fit will have to wait.

4.  It’s so busy

How busy can a baby’s social calendar be? As it turns out, very busy! If we’re not at a baby group taking advantage of space that I don’t have to tidy up, we’re seeing the health visitor or meeting up with friends. OK, so a lot of this is what keeps you sane when you’re on maternity leave, but some days it feels like you’re on a merry-go-round.

5.  The lack of cash

Before you finish work you may check out local event calendars and make a note of the cute day trips you’re going to do with your new arrival. Then you realise you hardly have enough money in the bank to fill up the car, let alone pay for tickets to visit the zoo. Another trip to the park anyone?

If you’re pregnant or have recently became a first time mum please don’t despair. It really isn’t all bad. In fact if I was going to give you a bonus thing that I hate about maternity leave it would be that it has to come to an end. The positives really do outweigh the negatives. Enjoy these precious months.

Thank you so much for Claire at Tin Box Traveller for submitting this awesome post to #MyFiveThings!  You can follow Claire on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram!

Read next:

5 Things I Hate About Maternity Leave - By Claire Hall at Tin Box Traveller Returning to work after Maternity Leave

Linked to You Baby Me Mummy and Mr & Mrs T Plus Three



  1. Bec @ Seeing the Lighter Side
    / 10:41 pm

    I hear you! And getting back into shape after #2 is so much harder than #1! I was back to pre baby weight by the time my first was 18 months old. My second is nearly 3.5 years old now and I’m still not even nearly there!

    • / 9:57 am

      I know that feeling :) x

  2. caroline raj
    / 2:17 pm

    Oh I love this and so so true! I hear you! NOTHING TO WEAR and where is my brain…..

    • / 9:49 pm

      Ha ha I was exactly the same! x

  3. Mudpie Fridays
    / 6:07 pm

    This post resonates with me as I will be doing the same in about 3 months time. Although I’ll only be off for 6 I know it will go fast, be hectic and be expensive! It will be my last as well. #TheList

    • / 6:21 pm

      Ah mine was 6 months too – but you do get to cram in a lot :) x

  4. Ellie @ Hand Me Down Baby
    / 3:06 pm

    I love this list!
    I’m currently on my second (and last! Gulp!!) mat leave as well, and can relate to all of these things.
    Mat leave is no picnic, that’s for sure. Especially when you have another child…who’s just moved to her big girl room…and won’t sleep through…zzzz

    • Ellie @ Hand Me Down Baby
      / 3:07 pm


    • / 3:40 pm

      Oh I know that feeling well! x x

  5. Helena
    / 4:55 pm

    I can definitely relate to this post. It definitely isn’t easy but sure is thoroughly enjoyable. #TheList

    • / 5:14 pm

      Oh it really is :) :) x

  6. Clare - My Tunbridge Wells
    / 7:16 am

    Yep – i have to agree with all of.these points. Especially the one about being busy! When on mat leave, I was never busier – so many different people to meet and things to do. Loved it most of the time but definitely difficult times too :)

    • / 12:24 pm

      I completely agree, it was calmer to go back to work a :) x

  7. Charlotte
    / 11:09 pm

    I agree – people don’t realise how busy maternity leave is! they assume it’s all lounging and putting your feet up! which is definitely not true! great list :p #TheList

    • / 11:19 pm

      So true! I thought that too before kids, I thought babies slept all day! x x

    • Claire at Tin Box Traveller
      / 6:46 am

      Thanks Charlotte! Imagine if it was all lounging around…what a lovely little daydream :) x

  8. Mummy Fever
    / 8:54 pm

    Totally agree, also maternity leave when you already have children is very different, as is maternity leave when you have your own business #TheList

    • / 8:55 pm

      Oh that’s so true – there certainly isn’t much ‘me time’ with either of those options!! x

    • Claire at Tin Box Traveller
      / 6:45 am

      I was super lucky to still be able to put my eldest into nursery for a few days a week during this mat leave. I was terrified of being overwhelmed with two in the first few months. I bow down to mums who do it – it’s seriously tough! I set up a freelance business while on my first mat leave. There’s been a lot of late nights ever since. Mums are hard core – end of! x

  9. Helen
    / 5:39 pm

    I’m currently on maternity leave and appreicate all of these! I’ve found that so many people think it’s easy, including my husband at times and they couldn’t be more wrong. Babies are hard work and it’s a 24/7 job – however it’s one that I love and treasure however hard it is :)

    Helen x

    • / 5:47 pm

      So true – you just don’t know until you’ve done it how hard it is – they’re worth it of course :) x

    • Claire at Tin Box Traveller
      / 6:41 am

      Absolutely Helen. It’s amazing and I’m so sad my mat leave is coming to an end, but these five things I won’s miss :) x

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I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land I work and live on, the Awabakal peoples, and pay my respects to Elders past and present.
I thank them wholeheartedly and express my love and gratitude for the privilege to live and work in such a beautiful part of the world and for the opportunity for my family to be part of this vibrant and supportive community.