Your maternity leave might be quite a worrying time; you have all this free time – but so many changes coming your way. Don’t worry, despite popular belief, your maternity doesn’t have to be sat at home watching daytime television. You can actually have a really productive, relaxing and enjoyable maternity leave.
We’ve listed our favourite ways that you can make the most out of your maternity leave, whether you’re getting ready to begin it or right in the middle. Here they are:
When else will you be able to do absolutely nothing, and get away with it? Just take the time to rest your weary legs, take care of your overworked body and prepare yourself for (and we hate to remind you) many sleepless nights, and stressful mornings.
Being pregnant is hard work, and nobody will deny that. Maternity leave should be used as a time to relax, focus on yourself and listen to your body. No more rushing around, working 40-hour weeks or staying up late answering emails.
Yes, it seems like an obvious one, but we guarantee you’ll feel so much better taking time to rest your body, and your mind.
Do some exercise
As with everything you’re unsure about with pregnancy, always ask your doctor first. However, we know for sure that a little bit of light exercise is really beneficial for you. Not only for your body but your mind, too.
Naturally, if we could click our fingers and have a better mood, lose weight, increase our strength, lower our blood pressure and just all-around improve our well-being, we would. Unfortunately, exercise is the next best thing.
A lot of cities now have exercises classes targeted at pregnant women or new moms. For example, postnatal yoga.
If you can’t find a class, YouTube is a great resource.
Talk to your baby
This is more for the postnatal moms. That being said, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with talking or singing to your bump.
Even new-born babies have their own little ways to communicate, through hand gestures and signing. You can take classes, or read up on this online.
Not only does this increase the bond that you have with your baby, but it’s also believed to help relieve some stress on the baby. How frustrating must it be not to be able to communicate? It can also help them to develop their language skills. Start them early.
Start a side project or your own business
Being a new mom, and juggling a career is difficult, we won’t sugar coat it. The two options used to be – become a stay-at-home mother, or work a 9-5. These are both wonderful options, and both have really amazing advantages.
However, today we have the chance to kind of merge the two. While on your maternity leave, you could look into developing your passion into your own company. The online world makes this a lot easier for us now.
Of course, you might not have that much free time, and everything might be moving fast, but there’s no time like the present, especially when you have maternity leave.
See what you can create if you can make money, and you might just find the perfect balance.
Travel and explore
We hear people say “you won’t be able to travel with a baby” and that’s just not true. It’s not like you’ll be staying in your house until your 18, is it? Travelling with your bump or baby just creates even more amazing memories.
Okay, we know this one might seem a little crazy. As a new mom, you might be finding it hard to make it to the corner shop, but travelling isn’t impossible. When you have the time off, you might as well grab your passport.
Just pack all the necessities, taking care of a baby is the same, no matter where you are.
Meet up with your friends and family
We know, maternity leave, pregnancy and becoming a new mother can sometimes feel overwhelming. From this, you can distance yourself from your friends and family.
Not only is it super nice to talk to adults sometimes, but they’ll also be able to offer you help. We all need it.
A lot of people have been through this, don’t try and do it all by yourself.
Take some classes and learn something new
It’s time to expand your brain, and discover something that you’ve never done before. Cities, towns, and YouTube all have amazing classes. Here are a few suggestions:
- Candle making
- Bird watching
- Beer/winemaking (obviously, not for your pregnant self)
Start a blog
Everyone loves to read an excellent blog, everybody googles things, and we’re all inherently curious. This makes a recipe for success when creating a blog.
Make your own mom blog, cooking blog, business blog, dog blog, travel blog, anything, and everything blog.
You can quite literally set up your blog in 30 minutes, and get writing straight away. It’s time the world had a little insight into all your secrets.
It’s a great thing to get stuck into, especially when you’re waiting to welcome your baby, or looking for something to do in between naptime.
Here are a few tools that you’ll find helpful when writing content for your blog:
c. Cliche Finder
d. CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
Share your blog on your social media, and you’ll soon start to see people gather an interest. Just create headlines that will attract people like, “how I make time for blogging with a newborn” – that’s something people want to know.
Get creative and find yourself
Motherhood, and we hate to take away some of the beauty, can make you lose a part of your own individuality. It’s a big sacrifice.
To make sure that this doesn’t happen, you should spend time doing things that used to make you excited. Painting, photography, hiking, writing…whatever it was.
If you don’t think you have a hobby or passion, look into what made you happy as a child. We guarantee you haven’t changed that much. Was it reading? Was it writing poems? Was it making cakes? There will be something.
Make new mom friends
It’s really nice to have people around you that are going through the exact same thing. You’ll be able to find them easily – at classes, or through friends of friends.
Make a group chat, ask them to go for coffee, and take trips to places with each other. You can even open up to them about any concerns you might be having.
Don’t worry, if you can’t meet any in person, you can always join groups and forums online to help. These are invaluable resources for you.
Prepare to go back to work
Yes, life after maternity leave very much exists, even if it feels like a myth. You should dedicate a little bit of time to preparing for when it ends. Perhaps, this will be making sure that everything is in order for going back to work, financially preparing, or mentally preparing.
You could catch up on your office, work, reply to some emails, organize your finances, or sort out childcare.
Little steps along the way will make sure that you and your baby aren’t in too much shock.
If you’re planning on staying at home, there are still many things that you can prepare yourself for.
Plan for your child
Raising a child is tricky. There’s so much to choose from. From nurseries, childcare, doctors’ appointments, breast pumping, clothes…the list goes on.
When maternity leave ends, and you might go back to work, everything can become quite hectic. This is completely normal and doesn’t mean that you’re failing in any way. Don’t worry.
We highly recommend using a calendar, digital or not, just to check up on everything, and make sure you’re not missing out on a thing. You’ll thank us when your days start to merge into one.
Rushing around, waking up in the middle of the night, pains, worries…the stresses are quite endless.
During maternity leave, it is so important that you take some time out to practice self-care. This could be something as simple as putting on a facemask and hopping into a bubble bath.
It could also be making sure to exercise, and eating right. Self-care isn’t always as fluffy as we might think.
Take some time out, make sure that you’re looking after yourself. Even with a little human to take care of, you cannot neglect yourself.
We hope these little tips will help you make the most out of maternity leave. It can feel like it’s over within a blink of an eye, but these will hopefully allow you to experience lasting benefits.
Don’t be disappointed with yourself if you don’t have the most productive maternity leave. Medical appointments, laundry and sleepless nights can make the days feel a few minutes long.
Just remember, the time off could be an excellent opportunity for you to bond with your baby, make new memories and begin your own exciting chapter, together.