When you’ve just gotten time off from work during pregnancy, there will be a million things that you wish to do. I know I did. I had already made a checklist of things to tick off during this time. Meeting my friends, cleaning the house, taking care of baby nursery, baby shopping, and many more. But maternity leave is also about taking time for yourself and the baby. You don’t want half of your maternity leave to be hijacked by preparing for the baby’s arrival. So, if you still have time, don’t wait for your maternity leave to deal with baby nursery and shopping. Do it now! I wish I had someone tell me how to make the most of my maternity leave. Because before you know it, you would be back to work, wishing you had made more productive use of your time. Here are a few things I wish someone had told me before:
Live In The Moment
Since I’m a creature of habit, I always had the urge to do the laundry, clean the house, or make more lists. In the midst of all of this, I didn’t get enough time to spend with my baby. So, if you’re anything like me, resist the urge to run down the basement to do the laundry and spend that time with your baby. Soak it all up as much as you can, and embrace every single moment you get with the little one.
Forget About Work When Home
You are on maternity leave. Your work can wait until you get back. So unless you agreed to take work-related calls during your maternity leave, stop stressing about work.
Shut Those Blinds, Its’s Nap Time
It may be hard to get 8 hours of sleep every night without being interrupted by your baby’s cries. During this time, a short nap may be your best bet. And even this, I know, is easier said than done. Who would clean the laundry, pay the bills, or cook dinner? But don’t you think you will be able to work better when you’ve rested enough and your body is energized? Hmm, something to think about, Mamas.
Never Say No To Help
If your mum or a friend or a colleague offers to bring over dinner, say yes. If your sister says she can babysit your elder child once a week, say yes. If your family friend offers to do some household chores, say yes. It’s easy to feel guilty when someone else does things for you. But remember that they want to genuinely help you and probably know how a little help goes a long way. So take all the help you can get.
Get your a** out of the house every day if you can. It could be a short trip to the grocery store or a stroll with your baby. Though sleeping in may seem like the best option all day every day, get some sunshine. You will feel better, I promise. You can even explore the city with your baby.
Find Your Mom Tribe
It might be hard to force a friendship with someone just because they too had a baby. But guess what? You won’t feel the same way when you’re sitting alone in your house wishing you had real conservations about motherhood. Though you have your best friends for a lot of things, having other mom friends will make this new chapter of your life a lot easier.
Opt For A Smooth Transition
Your baby is used to having you by their side 24/7. So whether you have arranged for childcare, nanny or your mom taking care of your little one during your office hours, make sure to start the transition at least a week before you go back to work. Let your baby spend shorter periods with them and get used to the idea of not having you by their side all the time. This way, even you will find it better when you have to leave your baby for work.
Allow Yourself Some Me Time
Whether it’s before or after the baby’s birth, having time alone is important. Use this time to do things you want and prioritize. You can sleep, read, or just chill on the sofa with some popcorn watching TV. Soon, you will be headed back to work wishing you had some time alone.
Prioritize your health and happiness over everything else, and I promise you would be fine. If you don’t want too many visitors during this time, don’t hesitate to let them know. After all, you’ve got the best excuse in the world!