Hitting The Parental Leave Wall

As I come up on my fourth full month of parental leave, a feeling is starting to creep in that can only be explained as a wall. Not a big wall, but just enough to get in the way.

Things are getting a little mundane, routine and to be honest a little boring.

Don’t get me wrong, I am loving all the time I am spending with my boys, but maybe, just maybe, the lack of adult interaction is getting to me.

I have worked from home for long periods of time before, but this is different. This is not work. This is parenting. A lot of it is like being a fire fighter. You do a lot for your kids, your wife and your household, but there is a lot of down time where you really have to get creative or lazy in order to spend your time.

After 16 weeks, I feel I have burned through a lot of my creative ideas when it comes to “free time” when the boys are sleeping. I play way too much Candy Crush and I do have the time to keep up on the television shows I watch.

Maybe it is the dog days of summer that has me fatigued? Maybe it is the post family vacation blues.

I still have just over two months left before heading back to work and I need to really refocus myself and enjoy the time I have left.

This opportunity will probably not present itself again.

I have found it hard to write, work on the blog and even network with other dads lately. I just want to do as little as possible it seems to get through a day. Or at least until my wife comes home from work.

She says it sounds like I am ready to go back to work. My initial reaction to that is “no way”, why would I want to go back already?

Her experience with maternity leave had the same feeling. After about 10 months, she hit a wall and was ready to get back into the real world.

The funny part is my wall is happening right when everything is getting the most fun when it comes to Charlie. He is almost 10 months old. He is crawling, doing all kinds of crazy things to make us laugh and just becoming an awesome kid before our eyes.

It is no more tiring than before, just different.

To the other moms and dads who have done lengthy maternity or paternity leaves, did you hit a wall? How did you cope?

My plan is to just try my best to kick the rut. They usually happen on their own, but I just have to push myself to do new things.

Take the kids to new places, like last week when we went to the Discovery Centre. Maybe new parks or new playgrounds.

For the free time moments, more reading or taking care of things I have been putting off ever since I started my leave. All I have to do is look around the house to find an endless list of things to do. But they are not fun. Maybe that is why I keep “forgetting” about them.

Whatever this wall is that I am trying to knock over, I know it is not the worst thing in the world.

I could have a real problem. Spending all my time with my boys is not a bad thing. I don’t have much to complain about. I have a great family and a life that is exactly what I want it to be.

It is all in my head I believe.

Time to spin it all and turn it into a wonderwall.


  1. I hit a wall all the time with Rowan. I think it helps to have a few chill days where we watch a bit more TV than usual or laze around instead of walking around town all day. Then I challenge myself to shake myself out of the funk and DO STUFF again. Usually I introduce a new game or food to Rowan that will help him with his new found skills. He ends up doing new things and I’m not bored or frustrated. So it’s a win win! Being a parents is hard work, eh?

    • Yeah exactly. I am refocusing to push new things. I mean it can be hard with a baby. They don’t do much. But just letting him crawl around in the grass is new to him and a lot of fun. In his own way, he help me pull weeds on the weekend. So I got a job done and he had a lot of fun. The wall, it is all mental.

  2. When I hit my wall I found getting together with other parents and having both adult time, and playdates really helped. Sometimes you need more interaction than the kids provide.

    • Yep, I hear you on that. And that is what we have been doing more. Mostly weekends but still, it is something.

      • I hear you I made a park friend or two that I saw during the week while my wife was at work. That really helped.

  3. Your little wall, sounds like a wallette to me.

    I’m sure you’ll soon get over it.

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