For the most part, I've done a really good job of not doing any work while I've been on maternity leave. To be honest, it takes more time to care for Ella than I had originally imagined. Prior to bringing her home, I think I had these grand illusions of having all sorts of free time. Yeah...that hasn't happened.
I've really tried to make a conscientious effort to leave work at the office, but I admit that I couldn't totally ignore it. I missed out on my students' registration time, and even though I had an out-of-office auto-reply on my email to explain that I was out and to provide them with their other options, I still worried about them. So all along, I've been logging into my email every other day or so to forward any necessary student emails on to the appropriate advisor (and to delete spam). But there were plenty of other "keep for later" emails that I left on the server. Oh--and I should mention that I was just checking my email remotely online through our home computer--my work laptop has stayed stashed away in the corner since I brought it home in late September (aren't you proud of me!?!?). Well, I got an email yesterday from our IT department explaining that they need to do some sort of conversion for our whole college, and they gave us some different dates and times of when we needed to schedule an appointment. Turns out that they are available tomorrow, and I'll actually be heading into the office to attend a going-away party for my colleague who I really admire and appreciate. So I figured it was about time to pull out my work laptop, see if I could remember the password, and download the remaining "keep for later" emails.
Perhaps I should have done this earlier...because I had 100 "keep for later" emails. 100! And like I said, I've already forwarded the student question emails and deleted all of the spam emails. Granted, I'm on a couple of listservs that don't necessarily know that I'm on maternity leave--I can delete some of those emails, but others I'll need to keep. And that information will still apply to me, so I feel like I'll have a pretty big learning curve when I go back to work in January. I'm afraid I'm going to be playing catch-up for a couple of days...if not weeks! I guess it's a good thing that I go back on January 3rd but classes don't get started until a week or so later. (How I dread leaving Ella to go back to work!!)
I'd like to say that I'm going to be more consistent about checking my email to avoid another 100 emails, but I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen. After getting my computer updated tomorrow, something tells me that it will go back to its little corner and stay there until January. And why not? Ella deserves to have me focus on her as much as possible while I can. (I don't know how I'm going to balance it all out when I go back to work...but that's a problem for another day.)
Today's blessings is my OB/GYN. I had my postpartum follow-up appointment with her today, and got the all-clear to return to regular activities. She really was so good to us throughout the entire pregnancy, delivery, and even came by to check on me after my return trip to the hospital. As we said our goodbyes, she said "Well let's do this again sometime!". We'll focus on Ella for now, but I sure hope that we do have the chance to do this again in the relatively near future.