27 May 2011, by Mandy Loh
Woohoo my maternity leave has officially started!
I’m so excited to begin my 16-week break from work, thanks to the generous maternity leave benefits of our government! 🙂 I know it’s not exactly a “holiday” as I’ll probably be facing some pretty challenging nights ahead with a newborn who would need to be fed every 2 hours or so, but it’s a great feeling to be away from work for a stretch of a few months!
Actually, I really love my current job. I work in an international not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to alleviate poverty and help children live life in all its fullness. It’s a pretty awesome ministry and my colleagues are simply amazing folks. So it was rather bittersweet to say goodbye to them for quite a few months. Although I had been counting down since last week, when today actually came, I felt quite sad to leave!
To commemorate the end of this chapter, I went around taking some fun photos with colleagues; and as luck would have it, I was scheduled for duty at a conference booth this morning, so I was wearing my corporate polo-tee (which I was absolutely bursting out of!) But it’s rather appropriate I suppose, to remember my last day before maternity leave with an “official” uniform.
To my lovely colleagues, I’m gonna miss hanging out with all of you for a while! I’ll try to drop by with Boubbles to visit, when things are a little more settled!
In addition, I’ve been blessed with a wonderful work arrangement after my maternity leave ends. As Tim and I are not planning to hire a helper, and both sets of parents will not be able to help us look after Boubbles full-time, my office has generously offered to let me work from home on a full-time basis for up to a year! I think it’s a really progressive HR policy and I’m very grateful for their trust, as well as the willingness to try out such a pro-family arrangement. Everyone around me has marvelled at how perfectly this has worked out for me, and I’m really thankful to be able to stay home to take care and spend quality time with Boubbles, while at the same time contributing to the family income.
For now, I’m looking forward to the next chapter of life, which will begin with me spending the next 2 weeks fully concentrating on preparing for Boubbles’ arrival. There are still tons of babycare books sitting forlornly at my bedside table, waiting to be read, and some bits of errands to get done. The hospital bag is more or less packed, and the baby room is almost ready. I’m also hoping to enjoy some “me-time”, catching up with friends and chilling out, before the whirlwind that is motherhood comes upon me! And as much as I cannot wait to have Boubbles in my life, I’m praying hard that Boubbles doesn’t decide to arrive early – so I can have some time to enjoy the holiday first! 😛