Motherhood: feeling unproductive?

Time disappears when you’re with a newborn baby. How unproductive you’re being! But wait…


Time and ambition both blow away on the wind. Laura Eades 2014

You can’t get anything done, right? You don’t really understand where the time is going: it flies away. You have no real time to yourself, enough for a shower or to unstack the dishwasher maybe. You feel bad. Your partner’s at work all day to keep your household stocked with bananas – hell, somebody’s gotta bring home the Hovis. And meanwhile, you just chase your tail at casa bambina. Leaving a trail of mess and tasks-that-couldn’t-be-completed-one-handed behind you.

Did you have grand designs for your maternity leave?

You give yourself a hard time. How come you haven’t organised the planning permission and builders to get the extension built? How come you haven’t learnt a new language? Chosen a new career? Started your business? What do you mean, you couldn’t get around to posting the child benefit letter?

You’re an achievement addict

You’re used to being efficient. A ninja. You’re the kind of person other people turn to when they want to get shit done. You get your kicks from being productive. And now… ?

Is there any pressure from anyone else?

Your partner may not understand what you do all day. He may even leave you a list of things to get done. I have actually heard of men who do that. (If he doesn’t, as mine doesn’t, remember to thank him for his understanding).

Work might be wondering when you’ll be taking up the offer of those ‘keeping in touch days’.

Other mums may have made it sound too easy.

Friends make jokes about you being a ‘yummy mummy’, drinking cappuccinos with the other mums after baby-massage group. Or a ‘domestic goddess’, as if you’re gonna be baking little gingerbread boys and girls all day.

Magazines talk about ‘mompreneurs’ and women taking ‘power maternity leave‘.


Look at your baby. Look at what you (re)produced! Your job now is to be the baby’s support unit. Just let it go. Let the ambition drift away on the wind. Feed the baby. Everything else can wait. Mañana, mañana…

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Did you give yourself a hard time about your productivity in your maternity leave? Love to hear your thoughts. Click on the pale grey dot under the blogpost, with a plus sign on it, to open the comment thread.

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