Maternity leave is a special time that allows new mothers to bond with their newborns and recover from childbirth. Here are some tips on how to maximize your maternity leave.
Bonding with your baby after birth is such a rewarding experience. I am so grateful that my company gives us 16 weeks of paid time off for parental leave. I do realize that this is a luxury and not many moms are able to receive the such generous leave.
During the first few weeks, I spent the majority of the time cuddled in bed with my newborn and adjusting to my new life as a mom of three. I’m trying to soak up every moment since this is my last baby and I know it’ll go by way too fast.
Now that I’m healed, I plan to spend my days doing more than just sleep, but also doing as little work as possible. This is also a time for me to get back to doing some things that I love.
12 tips to help you maximize your maternity leave
Your maternity leave is here, and whether you’re taking 6 weeks, 12 weeks, 6 months, or an entire year off from work, it may feel like you have an ample amount of time. But truth is, it’ll go by faster than you think. Honestly, I don’t think that there is a perfect amount of time that you can have off to bond with your baby. However long you plan to take, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your maternity leave.
Before you go on maternity leave, create a to-do list of all the tasks you need to complete before your due date. This can help you feel more organized and less stressed when you’re away from work.
Disconnect from work
While on maternity leave, try to disconnect from work as much as possible. Turn off your work phone and email notifications, and avoid checking your work email.
Don’t stress about a routine
Once your baby is here, it may seem like your life is total chaos especially if you have other kids. You may feel like you need to get into a routine, but one of the best things you can do for your mental health is to accept that the first few weeks, months, or even years will continue to evolve. Not having a set routine may feel a bit crazy, but don’t worry, it’ll all pan out eventually.
Focus on self-care
Take this time to focus on your own well-being. Rest when you can, eat healthy meals, and engage in activities that help you relax and recharge.
Take daytime naps
Sleep at night may not come easy, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice altogether. Babies tend to get longer stretches of sleep during the day, so you can utilize that time to nap and catch up on rest. Those chores can wait.
Bond with your baby
Maternity leave gives you the opportunity to bond with your baby and establish a strong connection. Spend time holding and cuddling your baby, and take part in activities that help you both bond, such as skin-to-skin contact, reading to your baby, and singing to your baby.
Get groceries delivered
Simply put, save time, and your sanity, by utilizing grocery delivery services. This will give you more time to create more memories with your little one and keep them protected.
Build your support network
Joining a new moms’ group or connecting with other new moms can be a great way to build your support network and find other moms who are going through similar experiences.
Plan some outings
Once you feel up to it, plan some outings with your baby. This could be as simple as going for a walk in the park, strolling down the aisles in Target, or meeting up with other moms for a playdate.
Take a lot of photos
Newborns change so much in those first few weeks. Capture all your memories by taking a lot of photos. Don’t forget the videos too. And I also want to stress that you get in those photos as well no matter what your anxiety may tell you. You don’t want to look back and have little to no memories of you with your sweet babe when they were little just because you “hated your look.”
Use the time to explore new interests
Maternity leave can also be a great time to explore new interests or hobbies. Take a cooking class, learn a new language, or try a new form of exercise.
Take a trip
Cabin fever tends to sneak up quickly if you’re spending most of your time at home with your new baby. If your budget allows, take some time away from your family. A weekend in new surroundings may be just what your body needs to recharge. It will help you create new experiences for your baby.
Remember, maternity leave is a unique time that allows you to focus on your family and your own well-being. By prioritizing self-care, bonding with your baby, and exploring new interests, you can maximize your maternity leave and make the most of this precious time.