Just over three weeks ago our daughter was born and after 16 years of work I’m finding myself on maternity leave.
Freya, as our little girl is called, arrived on bank holiday Monday the 28th of August, four days ahead of her due date. Perhaps eager, as her parents, to get on with things and start exploring life. I worked until the Friday before and was supposed to work the day she arrived but as my contractions set in around 4am I sent an email to work saying “It seems I’ve just started going into labour so I’ll most likely not be able to make the call today, or the meeting tomorrow, unless it just stops ;) ”. My contractions didn’t stop and the 25th of August ended up being the last day I worked.
This year has, by far, been the happiest of my life. I found out at the start of the year that I was pregnant and though I felt pretty crap the first few weeks, I’ve never felt as good, mentally or physically, as I did during the rest of my pregnancy. Work wise it’s also been one of the most rewarding years, from working with some very exciting startups, to the launch of an amazing skincare product and then from June up until I gave birth, being back with my Amsterdam family at 72andSunny working on a project for Google that’s very close to my heart. I’ve also launched my first two UX courses and February to May was filled with travels and public speaking engagements with my two talks at SXSW about my upcoming Storytelling in Design book being the highlight.
And now here I am. Sat writing this whilst little Freya is sleeping soundly next to me. As for what this new chapter of my life will look like I’m not 100% sure. I’ve got an idea of how long I want to be off freelancing for, though I’m also keeping an open mind as I’ve never been on maternity leave before and I may want to go back to work sooner, or later, than what I imagine. What I’m mostly looking forward to and already enjoying is the change. Though the little lady is my priority and focus right now, I’m enjoying having time to read and write again. I’m putting the final touches on the book before it goes into production and I’m also continuously updating my two UX courses as well as preparing the last little bits on a few other upcoming courses and classes that I’ll be rolling out in October. I’ve without a doubt gone into a nurturing and nesting mode and from looking after Freya to what I’m writing about, it’s all about giving back and helping others.
So, if there is something I can help you with, or you have a project you want to talk to me about or a workshop/ talk you’d like me to give, do get in touch. If it’s one thing life with a newborn has taught me so far, it’s to go with the flow and be flexible. That and to always keep the essentials (food, water, phone and a muslin blanket) within an arm’s reach at any given point.