Maternity leave is meant to be a relaxing period before your baby arrives, but if you find yourself coming out of a busy everyday life, you might actually find it difficult to relax need some tips on how to put your feet up (as ridiculous as that sounds).
It’s also very easy to ‘be busy’ when you are on maternity leave. There are a million things to do, and prepare for when baby arrives and if it’s your first another million things you might want to research and read up on to help prepare yourself.
If you are planning on going back to work, you might think that your time with baby will fly by and be short lived so here are some essential things to do on maternity leave to make the most of every second.
What to Do Before Your Baby is Here
Relax as much as possible
This might seem like a silly thing to say but make the most of your quiet time because once your little one arrives, you won’t get any, and any moments you do get won’t be chosen by you.
Learn how to use all your baby gear
By the point you finish working and go onto maternity leave you’ll like to have already bought a lot of stuff for your baby and if it’s your first child you might not know how to use a lot of the stuff you’ve bought.
Pre-Arrange Help Where Possible
One great tip that really helped me keep on top of everything and staying in control was prearranging help. I set up an agreement with my partners mum who was able to have my little one every Friday, she would come and collect her in the morning and drop her off in the evening.
This prearrangement allowed me to plan other things, seeing friends, getting housework done or even going back to work on a part-time basis and gave me some self-confidence.
Pack and Repack your Changing Bag
One thing you’ll find the becomes second nature to you is where things are in your changing bag. Use your maternity leave to pack, repack and pack again your changing bag and start to learn the best placement for things.
We have a great article on what to pack in your changing bag with a free downloadable checklist which you can print off and start to grain in what you need in your changing bag.
Make a list of films and TV shows you might want to catch up on once baby is asleep
Baby brain or mum brain can be a killer and strike at the very worst of times, usually when you really want to do something, or you find yourself with some free time and all of a sudden you can’t remember what you wanted to do.
This is why you should make a list of some Tv shows or Movies you’d like to see whilst you are on maternity leave which let’s face it, is defiantly an essential!
Write your list and leave it on a coffee table or next to the TV so you don’t even have to think about what you started watching yesterday or what you wanted to watch tomorrow because it’s all written down!
After you Baby has Arrived
Once your baby is born you have hopefully had some time relax and have covered a few of the things above and not it’s time to switch it up a little.
Get to know your baby
The most important part of your maternity leave will be getting to know your new baby and spending some quality time with them.
Plan time for yourself
Although you have a baby now it’s still important to make sure you spend some time to yourself, arrange a babysitter and get to the gym or watch a movie and just have a bit you time.
*insert cup of tea and biscuits here*
Ask for Help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It can be incredibly stressful when your baby is born and even more so if you are doing it alone or your partner goes back to work.
Even if you feel like you can do it on your own a bit of help will never go amiss.
Muscle for Hire
If you find yourself struggling to get everything done and have the budget, then don’t be afraid to hire in some muscle if need be.
You can hire cleaners, gardeners, and general maintenance people for a relatively cheap price and saves you having to keep up with never ending chores.
Leave Work Alone
It can be very tempting to jump back into work and regain a bit of your independence, but your maternity leave it meant to be time used to bond with your baby and not to work.
Leave the work for when you go back and enjoy your much deserved time away from it all.
Enjoy the Fresh Air/Explore your Local Area
If you are lucky enough to have your maternity leave during the summer months, then you could be lucky enough to get a few nice days which allow you to go on some walks and enjoy your time.
Look at your local map and if you have one a local Facebook page for fun and exciting local things to do.
You could even find some local thing that you didn’t know even excised!
Look for other new mums to bond with
Facebook is a great place to meet other local new mums who are in a similar position to you. You can go for walks, coffee and play dates for the little ones, which can be a great way to bond and help grow your babies’ social skills.
Another great thing to do during your maternity leave and once you feel up to it you can start to exercise.
Exercise is a brilliant way to boost your mental health, improve fitness and up your mood.
Start Vetting Child Care if you plan on going back to work
If you are planning on going back to work, then you’ll need to start looking for childcare. Your maternity leave is the perfect time to start vetting potential child carers.
It can take a while to find the right person to be looking after your baby so be usre to do all your due diligence.
Start planning weaning
It can be a hard task to try and wean on a whim so planning what you are going to do can be a handy way to keep on track.