Congratulations – baby’s on the way, and you’re finally on maternity leave! When you’ve been working hard, you want to make the most of your maternity leave. But when the time comes to clock out of work for a while, sometimes it can leave you with more time than you know what to do with! That’s why we’re going to run through the top 7 tips you’ll want to take care of during maternity leave, while you’re still pregnant.
What to do on maternity leave? Tip #1: Get the house baby-ready
- Buy things the baby will need
- Buy or make the baby’s clothes and bibs
- Get the house in order
When you’ve been busy working, you might have missed a spot in terms of daily items or clothes for baby. If you’re the crafty type, making items like blankets or bibs by hand could be a great memory in later years.
If you haven’t had a chance yet, you could also take the time to refresh the house a little to get ready to share this space with your new baby. Take the chance to get rid of a few things you don’t need, and replace them with things that you do. This will help create a calm environment for baby’s start to life.
Tip #2: Organize child care
- Look into daycare and child care options
- Get familiar with the childcare situation in your area
Right now, you’re probably looking forward to finally meeting your new baby – but it’s good to think about what you’ll do when you’re back at work, too. If you’re looking into daycare or a caregiver for your child, now is a good time to start doing some research and making some calls.
Especially if you live in a big city, childcare can be hard to come by. The sooner you can find a good childcare provider – whether that’s a daycare, a carer, or a family member – the less you’ll have to worry about when the time comes.
Tip #3: Enjoy some quality time with yourself
- Read books
- Catch up on TV and movies
Now that you have some time to yourself at last, this could be a great opportunity to catch up on some books you’ve been wanting to read, or binge-watch your favorite shows. (Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu certainly make this a lot easier!) It gets harder to make time for yourself once baby is one the scene, so make the most of the time you have now and enjoy your interests with to the full!
Tip #4: Take care of yourself
- Try a prenatal massage
- Go in for a beauty treatment
- Go to the salon and the dentist (once baby has arrived)
Many moms-to-be suffer from back pain and stiff shoulder. Now that you have some time to spare, why not make time for a pregnancy massage? Certified massage therapists can offer drug-free relief and relaxation, with techniques tailored to pregnant moms. Day spas often have special courses for expecting moms, and a beauty treatment could do wonders for how you feel, too.
Tip #5: Move that body!
- Visiting pregnancy yoga classes
- Try pregnancy swimming
Giving birth takes all the strength you have, but with so much time at work it can be hard to keep up with sports you enjoy. Maternity leave offers the opportunity to build up some strength with pregnancy-friendly exercise classes, like yoga and swimming, if you haven’t already. This can be a great way to refresh your body and mind.
Tip #6: Spend time with friends and family
- Catch up with your parents and other close family members
- Go out for lunch with some good friends
Another perk of maternity leave is the time it gives you to spend with friends and family you haven’t seen in awhile. Now that you’re free, how about checking out a restaurant that you and your buddies don’t usually visit and shooting the breeze a while? Or sitting down for a chat with your folks?
This can be a great stress relief, particularly if you’ve got some anxieties about birth and motherhood. Just remember not to overdo it – staying out too long could be rough on your body, and you still need to watch your weight in the last stages of pregnancy.
Tip #7: Spend time with your partner
- Go on dates to places you can’t take kids
- Go out and see a movie
Once baby arrives on the scene, the new world of child-rearing is going leave you and your partner with a lot on your plate! That makes maternity leave a great time to enjoy some time together – just the two of you. It’ll be just like when you first met – go on all the dates you can handle!
This could be a great chance to hit up some delicious restaurants where it’s hard to take kids (for example, Korean barbecue or teppanyaki). Or you could just lay about the house and take it easy with take-out and a movie, if that’s what you feel like. Whether you feel like painting the town red or just strolling through the neighborhood, this is a great time just to enjoy each other’s company.
Finding what to do during maternity leave
This time is set aside for you, and what you want to do. How about coming up with your own checklist? Find a notebook and jot down as many things you can think of that you want to get done before the end of maternity leave. Then, put them in order of priority from “absolute-must-do” to “maybe-if-I-feel-like-it.” Then you’re ready to start ticking those off, one at time!
Maternity leave depends on your employer, but no matter how long you get, it always seems to be over before you know it. Think about what’s most important for you and your baby – that will help you work out what to do and how to plan it.
Finding fun things to do on maternity leave now pays off later!
We hope that gave you some ideas! After the birth, things are going to be revolving around baby for a while. Since that can limit what you can do, it can be a pretty stressful time. In order to prepare for that, don’t hesitate to rest up and enjoy yourself as much as you can in the last stages of pregnancy – that way you can head into motherhood with more excitement and energy.
Enjoying yourself on maternity leave will help you build up your mental health reserves for later, so take care of your soon-to-arrive baby by taking care of yourself now.