365 Days – A Year of Maternity Leave

Well today is Friday the 13th. It’s also Ryan’s Birthday and exactly 365 days since I started my maternity leave. This time last year I was an emotional blob of hormones. Surviving mainly on orange juice and continental Chocolates, I looked more like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man than a pregnant woman! I was definitely ready to bid my work colleagues adieu and head off into the unknown.

365 daysAt the start of your maternity leave, a year feels like a long time. You have all these wonderful ideas of how you will fill your days, most of which is just wishful thinking. I remember chatting with a colleague, telling her how I would read lots of books and learn how to bake. Clearly I was delusional!

Recently I came across this picture which I feel sums up the past year perfectly for me.

Some days have felt like Groundhog Day. There have been times where I’ve felt lonely and I’d be lying if I said it hadn’t been hard. But looking back, the past year as a whole has been amazing. I know how fortunate I am to have been able to spend so much time with my little boy. I’ll be sad when my maternity leave comes to an end but the memories we’ve made, I’ll treasure forever.

To mark the occasion I’d like to share with you some of my favourite pictures. These are pictures which I have captured over the past 365 days that are special to me. They each carry their own memory and bring with them a reminder of what a special time it has been. 

  1. This picture was taken during Rory’s first trip to the seaside. We were forced to make an emergency stop on the way home. After a swift nappy change at McDonalds I took this shot. It’s one of my favourite pictures of my boys.
  2. I don’t have many nice pictures of myself with Rory because Ryan is a horrendous photographer. However he did manage to take this picture, which I really love, while we were waiting to see Santa at Christmas.
  3. I took this picture on the 22nd January 2016 and it was the last picture I took before Rory was born. I really wish I had taken more pictures throughout my pregnancy.
  4. If you’re from Sheffield you like Hendos! We like to start them young!
  5. This picture is really special to me. The bear in this picture was given to me by my Grandma on the day I was born. Sadly she never got to meet Rory so it was important for me to capture a little part of her with him.
  6. We don’t have many pictures of Rory with his Nanny as she hates people taking her picture. It makes the ones we do have all the more special. I like this one because we didn’t plan it; it was just in the moment. I can feel a lot of love in this image.
  7. This is the first picture I ever took of Rory. My recollection of his birth is all a bit hazy but this picture takes me right back to the moment when I first held him. Looking at this picture is like travelling back in time.
  8. This picture was taken shortly after Ryan went back to work after paternity leave. It had been a difficult day full of cluster feeds and no sleep. When I took this picture he was napping for the first time. I remember thinking that no matter how hard the day had been, watching him sleep was like wiping the slate clean.

If you’d like to see more of my pictures from the past 365 days, take a look at my maternity leave slideshow:

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  1. January 16, 2017 / 7:05 am

    Lovely pics! I was similar to you surviving only on salt and vinegar crisps and mash potato for pregnancy. It’s amazing how quickly the first year goes #marvmondays

    • Mommyandrory
      January 16, 2017 / 10:54 am

      It’s only 11am but now I want to eat mashed potato! Everyone warns you how quickly it goes but you just don’t believe them. I wish I could go back and relive the past year again! Thank you for reading xx

  2. January 16, 2017 / 8:51 am

    Ah these are lovely. We just got a bottle of that relish for Christmas form my Dad who’s from near Sheffield. I’d never seen it before but looks like Lea and Perrins. Thanks for joining us for #marvmondays

    • Mommyandrory
      January 16, 2017 / 10:52 am

      Have you tried it yet Fran? It’s lovely in stew or on cheese on toast. It’s made in Sheffield and only sold locally. My mum lives in Rotherham which is only 20 minutes away and she sometimes struggles to get it. It’s very similar to Lea and Perrins but don’t tell anyone I said that. Its sacrilege! Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy your Hendos! xx

  3. January 16, 2017 / 9:48 am

    Beautiful photos, it’s nice to hear the stories behind some of them! I’m also marking a year of maternity leave today and it has flown by so fast! #bigpinklink

    • Mommyandrory
      January 16, 2017 / 10:49 am

      Thanks Louise. Doesn’t it just! Are you heading back to work then soon? I go back on the 6th of March. In some ways I’m looking forward to it but I’m just dreading been away from him all day. Thanks for reading xx

  4. January 16, 2017 / 10:29 am

    I’ve not heard that saying before but ohit is so true, the days are indeed long and it is only looking back now that I see the years are short! Keep the photos going,t hey are a great way to remember. #marvmondays

    • Mommyandrory
      January 16, 2017 / 10:46 am

      Thanks Fiona. It’s not until you look back you realise just how fast the years have gone. Thank you for reading x

  5. January 16, 2017 / 1:40 pm

    These pictures are beautiful and I love the quote. The days are long but the years are short. I’m definitely feeling that as I get ready for my daughters 11th birthday Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.

    • Mommyandrory
      January 16, 2017 / 6:56 pm

      Thanks Tracey! Wow 11! Bet it only feels like yesterday that you were bringing her home. Thank you for reading and I’ll see you next weekend for more KCACOLS action! xx

  6. January 16, 2017 / 2:35 pm

    You’re so right about a year flying by. I remember feeling the same. I’ve been back at work for 1 year on Thursday and I can’t believe that either! It looks like you’ve definitely had an amazing year overall – your photos are all beautiful! – and I hope you enjoy what’s left before your return to work. #KCACOLS

    • Mommyandrory
      January 16, 2017 / 6:55 pm

      Thank you so much Angela, its been such a good year. I’m certainly going to make the most the next 7 weeks! Thanks for reading xx

    • Mommyandrory
      January 16, 2017 / 6:53 pm

      Thank you for reading x

  7. January 16, 2017 / 8:57 pm

    Beautiful photos. I’m 7 months in to my second maternity leave. It does go so fast, too fast. The first year is amazing but also hard. The steep learning curve and sleep deprivation etc. #marvmondays

    • Mommyandrory
      January 18, 2017 / 7:53 pm

      Thanks Claire. I agree it’s very hard but so worth it! I hope you enjoy your remaining months of maternity leave and thanks for reading xx

  8. January 16, 2017 / 11:47 pm

    Lovely photos! My year of mat leave is coming to an end soon (well, March. But that feels soon) and I can’t quite believe it. I know exactly what you mean about a year seeming a long time – yet it’s gone by so fast! #marvmondays

    • Mommyandrory
      January 18, 2017 / 7:55 pm

      Thanks Kate. Mine end in March too, it literally feels like my world is coming to an end! I hope you enjoy your last couple of months and thanks for reading xx

  9. January 17, 2017 / 7:02 am

    Aaah, these are some gorgeous pictures, and you did really well to take so many!! I wish I’d taken more of my boys when they were younger!! I was also full of things that I thought I’d do on maternity leave-now when people say to me they’re going to spend the whole time sewing/reading/learning a language, I smile and nod encouragingly, then walk away thinking ‘no you’re not!!’ Rory is the cutest, thank you for sharing these lovely pictures with us!

    • Mommyandrory
      January 18, 2017 / 7:57 pm

      Thank you. I pretty sure my poor child has spent the majority of past 11 months with my phone shoved in his face. I feel foolish to have thought I’d actually have time to bake! Thanks for your lovely comment and for taking the time to read my post xx

  10. January 17, 2017 / 2:52 pm

    Gosh a year really does go by so quick doesnt it.
    I’ve just been approved for a years maternity leave due to start in May which I’m absolutely delighted about. last time I took 6 months and it was heartbreaking leaving my 5.5month old at a minders. I’m hoping the year will be easier but it probably wont be. #KCACOLS

    • Mommyandrory
      January 18, 2017 / 7:42 pm

      That excellent news and very exciting! I’m sure it will still be hard but I bet you’ll appreciate the time more having gone back sooner the first time round. All the best for the coming year and thanks for reading xx

  11. January 19, 2017 / 9:57 am

    Awww these are such cute pictures, I wish I took more when I was pregnant too – maybe next time! x #MarvMondays

    • Mommyandrory
      January 21, 2017 / 9:58 am

      Thanks Jaylan! I’m now left with the daunting task of sorting his first year scrap book out! There are so many pictures to choose from its a little overwhelming! Thanks for reading xx

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