Country Mornings with Jonathan & Ayla

Country Mornings with Jonathan & Ayla

Country Mornings with Jonathan & Ayla

We hired a photographer to do a maternity shoot while we were in Ireland. (Dingle Specifically). I really wanted the rolling Irish hills in the background. This photo really delivered!!!

I am days away from giving birth to baby #2, and let me tell you, this momma has some goals and dreams while on maternity leave. But will I ever get to accomplish them? Probably not, and here’s why.

On maternity (or paternity) leave, all parents hope to have all the time in the world to travel, eat, drink, explore, and most importantly, relax. But truthfully, being on leave is all about bonding with your newborn. It’s about making sure that your baby is fully loved, fed, clothed, washed, and taken care of in every aspect. It’s not about you anymore. Sorry to be so blunt, but I realized that quickly after I gave birth to my first-born son.

When my first child I did was born, I did as much as I could while I was off work. And let me say, I definitely accomplished some personal goals. I ate oysters at Oyster Creek in Duxbury. And I drank alcohol again and enjoyed every sip of the Cabernet Reserve wine at La Cantina Winery in Franklin. I brought my newborn to the beach up in NH and put him in his UPPAbaby bassinet while I sat next to him, soaking up any sun I could. But did I really accomplish anything for me while I was on maternity leave?

It’s No Longer About Me On Maternity Leave

The short answer is, no. I did not really accomplish anything that I wanted to do on maternity leave. I never had that spa day all to myself. (This is a hint to my husband if he’s reading this right now!) I never took a road trip to a place I have never been before. And lastly, as a musician, I still haven’t even sat down and written a song since my first child was born.

I’ve learned that being a parent is beautiful and in many ways self-reflecting. You have to leave your ego at the door and realize that life isn’t about what you want any more. My children come first now in every thing I do. For example, if they are hungry, I must drop everything I am doing and make sure that they are fed. If they are tired, I may have to leave the fun brewery that we are at to make sure that my kids go home and take a nap.

So this time around, I’m still making goals for myself because I think it’s important for mothers and fathers to not completely change who they are. But the question is, will I get to do ANY of these things? I’ll have to report back after my 12-week maternity leave is done.

  • Go On A Road Trip To Somewhere I've Never Been

    South Boundary is also known as the “Avenue of Oaks” because of the beautiful live oaks that line the street making almost a canopy above the street.

    South Boundary is also known as the “Avenue of Oaks” because of the beautiful live oaks that line the street making almost a canopy above the street. This is located in South Carolina. Maybe I will take a road trip here.

    I have goals of going on a road trip with our family to somewhere we’ve never been before. Preferably out of the New England area. The problem with traveling with two children and a dog is that we are at the point where we have to stay at an Airbnb. But traveling to an Airbnb is much more expensive than a hotel in the summer time. So will we even leave New England? Probably not.

  • Eat Sushi For Breakfast, Lunch And Dinner

    Close-up of sushi rolls on a platter at Sushi Ko restaurant in...

    Close-up of sushi rolls on a platter at Sushi Ko restaurant in Larkspur, California, March 2, 2024. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images

    When you’re pregnant you have to give up raw good like sushi. I would love to have an entire day where I just catch up on eating sushi! I’ve been eating veggie ones while pregnant, but it’s not the same as a delicious salmon or tuna roll.

  • Go On A Brewery Tour

    Split rock beer garden patio

    There are plenty of brand new picnic tables at the beer garden with umbrellas to shun the rain or the shine

    I don’t mean take a tour of a brewery. I actually mean go to multiple breweries in one day. Before kids I would have had a blast doing this with my friend or family. But with kids, we will be lucky to hit up one, or even two breweries in the day.

  • Spend A Day By Myself

    Is this even possible when you have two kids under the age of 2? I don’t even know. And what would I DO with an entire day by myself? Would I take advantage of it and do something wild? Or would I stay in my bed and rest all day? Even the thought of having a moment to myself brings my anxiety because I can’t remember a time where it was just me, alone with my thoughts and time.

  • Spend An Entire Day In Bed Resting

    Similar to up above, will this ever happen? Will there be a time where my husband doesn’t say, “We need you to come downstairs!” Or my newborn doesn’t need to bond with me skin to skin, or need milk? NO! Everyone will need me at all times for the first few months of life.

  • Bring Both Babies Into A Pool

    This is something that I actually think we can accomplish this summer. And it’s a big maybe! I will need all hands on deck (no pun intended). But our oldest son will finally enjoy the pool this year. The youngest might be too young to go in it, but at least we can attempt to make this happen.

  • Go Camping

    This photo shows the exterior of The Canadienne tent at the Huttopia...

    This photo shows the exterior of The Canadienne tent at the Huttopia Sutton glamping ground in Quebec, Canada, on August 14, 2019. - From a wicker trunk beneath a canvas tent, Céline Bossanne pulls... Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images

    One thing I loved to do before I had kids was camping. I owned a tiny house that I would pull around on the back of my car. Essentially, it was like a bed on wheels with an adorable little tv inside. It barely slept two people, but it was so much fun to go camping in. I would love to go camping with my family again. I’m not saying we do the whole tent thing, but maybe start with a cabin?

  • Take A Flight Somewhere As A Family Of Four

    My husband has already said that he will never fly with two children. The last flight we went on to and from Ireland with just our one son was adventurous to say the least. He’s already overwhelmed at the thought of bringing two babies on a plane. I on the other hand, welcome the challenge with open arms! I’d love to try and go somewhere all four of us.

  • Write A Song Again

    It’s been almost 4 years since I’ve written a song for myself. I used to write music all the time, and I was inspired to do it. The last song I remember writing was before I got married to my husband. That was back in 2021. Writing a song again would be a lot of fun to do while on maternity leave. I do think I can make this happen, but I need to find the time to be by myself to really get the creative juices flowing.

  • Go To A Concert

    I would love to go to a concert while on maternity leave!! I actually think I will be able to do this. I brought my first-born son to a number of shows after he was born and it was great to get him outside and around live music. I hope I will be able to handle two kids though this time around.

Sign me up for the Country 102.5 email newsletter!

Become a VIP member today and get access to exclusive contests, country music news, and be the first to know when your favorite artists release new music and are coming to town!

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.