A drawing of Ana holding a phone and taking a photo of a cat who is washing itself. The cat says, suprised, oh, hello Ana.


Jottings from Ana Rodrigues

One year later

My maternity leave has ended! I was one year at home with my little one. But, it's really like they say: the days are long, but the years are short. Around six months ago, I wrote a blog post called Matrescence which resonated with a few people. Meanwhile, as I found some headspace to go back online, I found a few more posts written by other parents that resonated with me too.

Around the time I wrote that post, things were rough in a different way. Driven by the fear of losing myself, I forced myself to attend three conferences (as an attendee) when maybe I wasn't ready. I put so much pressure on myself and on "having it all". I wanted perfection in our society's imperfect and unfair world of motherhood. I would crumble when I didn't achieve perfection (I never did). Finally, around December, I admitted that I needed to pause. Mentally I wasn't okay, so I took myself to see a GP. While we're still bouncing back ideas on whether I have PPD or PMDD, I started medication.

The first weeks were again tough. The side effects were brutal, and it took a while to see a difference. But now, nearly six months later, I am thankful to my past self for taking action. While life wasn't easy (for example, my father passed away unexpectedly a couple of months ago), I coped much better than I would have six months ago. And, of course, while there are moments of sadness, I can finally find joy in many things. Of course, I still worry about milestones and everything that entails in growing a little human, but I don't start the waterworks and can sleep at night.

Besides medication, I also took a proper social media break. It helped that Twitter, my social media of choice to compare myself to others and then feel sad, somehow got even worse, and people started to migrate to other places. But I did delete the app from my phone. Eventually, I completely forgot to check it out. Away from the sight, away from the heart. I stopped checking other places where the tech community hung out and didn't work on my blog. I stopped. And it was the best thing I did.

More recently, I did get back to it and noticed a few things. My network is now much smaller and also more spread out. I suppose many people assumed that my lack of content meant goodbye, so I must admit that it was a bit sad seeing mutuals unfollowing me. It's okay, and I know it isn't personal, but my evil inner voice blames me for not being "out there". On the other hand, I did reconnect with people differently.

I'm happy and excited for this new chapter of my life. I'm so glad to have found peace and some happiness in slowing down. I'm sure some days I will have labrador energy, and I'm sure that other days it will look like I went missing again.

I asked on Twitter, Mastodon and Bluesky what I missed, and these were the replies. So if you were away for the last 12 months, here it goes!

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Some of my favourite memories with my dad


Content note: pregnancy, birth & mention of previous loss