Now I’m talking about pre baby of course.
I’ve been on maternity leave for just over 3 weeks now, I started at 35 weeks pregnant leaving me a generous 5 weeks before due date to have some time to myself. I know some people like to hold out right to the very end but with a total commute of 1.5 hours a day to and from work I was more than ready to slow things down. Spending that much time in the car was not comfortable.
It sounds silly but at first I was a little overwhelmed by the prospect of all this time to myself.
How would I spend all my time? Would my days drag?
As I said I’m now 3 weeks in and I’ve got myself into a bit of a rhythm, so I thought I’d share some tips on how to make the most of your maternity leave and those last few weeks of it just being you…
A top tip people gave me is ‘don’t feel guilty about spending some days doing absolutely nothing’ – as it’ll be the last time you can do that in a long long time. Before I started maternity leave I made sure I had a stack of books I wanted to get through, plenty of trash TV to catch up on and a stash of lush bath bombs. It’s amazing how quickly your time does fill up what with antenatal classes & midwife appointments etc speckled throughout the week so I like to make sure I set aside some days where my diary is completely free to do nothing but have a relaxing bath, sit in the garden with a book or lounge in front of the TV.
Keep your weekends free
As I’m sure is the case with most partners Brett is still working full time whilst I’m on maternity leave. Conscious that before long it won’t just be the two of us anymore I try to get all those ‘weekend jobs’ done throughout the week so by the time the weekend roles around we don’t need to worry about doing the food shop or changing the bed, we can spend some quality time together instead.
I’m sure nesting is something that comes to everyone weeks before their baby is due, I began my leave with a list of jobs I wanted to do from decluttering the cupboard under the stairs to reorganising my kitchen cupboards.
As a ‘nesting treat’ I also got in a professional to give my oven a deep clean (it now looks so new I don’t want to use it) I mean some jobs just aren’t worth slaving over are they now…
Most of the jobs I wanted to do are now ticked off my list and it’s really helped me in terms of storing the mountain of things new borns seem to come with.
Prepare Prepare Prepare
Now I’m sure there are certain things you can’t wait to crack on with; washing all your babies clothes, making up the cot and getting all those lovely finishing touches in the nursery done. However there are also some more practical things you can get on with:
• Prep some delicious meals that you can pop in the freezer and use as emergency meals during the first few weeks of being at home with baby – so many people have given me this tip and I’m now sporting a pretty well stocked freezer!
• Make sure your hospital bag is packed! Write a list and slowly but surely tick all the items off as you pack them. It’s worth having your bag ready to go from 37 weeks!
• Get your head around how your pram works; in theory this should be easy but there are so many different parts & components to them it’s worth knowing how it all works before you’re contending with it and a new born baby.
My due date is next week, whilst I’m well aware baby could make an appearance before then or could keep me waiting for another couple of weeks (please no!) it’s hard not to have that due date etched in my mind.
To keep me sane and to stop me climbing the walls next week I have a hair appointment booked, a trip to a salon for a manicure booked and I plan on going to one of my fave local bakeries for some tea & cake. Not only will these keep me active and stop me crossing off each hour as it ticks by, it’ll also probably be the last time in a while I can indulge in some pampering!
So go ahead and plan some treats for yourself mama!
I’d love to hear how you spent or plan on spending your maternity leave?