What Can You Do on Maternity Leave?

When it comes to being pregnant, you plan for just about everything. You make sure you have everything you baby will need, get the house ready for their arrival, as well as planning how the labor and delivery should go, but what about after your little one has arrived? Whether you have three months or six months of maternity leave, you don't want to find yourself isolated with nothing do. Knowing things you’d better prepare on maternity leave will get you out of the house without costing much.


Things to Do on Maternity Leave

1. Plan play dates

You'll be craving some adult interactions but when you have a baby to take care, this can be a struggle to plan. Instead, find some mom friends and plan a playdate.

2. Classes

There are plenty of mommy and me classes you can sign up for in your area. From music class to baby massage classes, these are a great way to bond with your child and get you out of the house.

3. Exercise

With jogger strollers, baby wraps, and carriers, it is easier to stay active even when you have a baby to hold. Try an at-home program that focuses on postpartum exercises, join a stroller walking group or just put your little one in the stroller and go for a walk. You can listen to your favorite audio-book as you walk and your little one will enjoy seeing the new scenery.

4. Seek out others moms

Support groups are especially great during the winter months. These groups often meet up at someone’s home or a public place where you can bring your newborn along. You probably never know the type of friendships that can develop from these groups and you get the support you need as a mom as well as some great parenting tips and advice.

5. Try something new

You don't have to sign up for classes to learn how to knit or learn a new language. Some of the things to do on maternity leave can be just learning something new. Consider all those do it yourself projects you have been wanting to do, a new recipe you've been wanting to cook or that book you have always wanted to write. This is the best time to do some of the things you have always wanted to do, but because of work you never had the time to do.

6. Pamper yourself

It is easy to forget about yourself when you focus all your time taking care of the baby. Allow yourself a little makeover during your maternity leave. Simply buying a box of hair dye to change your color or rearranging your wardrobe to create new outfits can have you feeling like a whole new person.

7. Read

Join a book club or simply make your own reading list and start reading. You can find plenty of books that are appropriate to read out loud to your little one as well. Read some new books or re-read one of your favorites while you have a break from work.

8. Host a dinner

It can be easy to neglect your friends when you have a new baby, so plan on some together time with those you love. Have everyone over for a potluck dinner or just invite some friends over for coffee. Not only will this give you time to catch up with them, but they'll most likely offer to take over your parental duties while they are free so that you can relax.

9. Meditate

With the lack of sleep and constant feeding or diaper changes, you are going to need to find a way to just relax. Learn to pause in the day to take a few deep breaths and meditate so you can stay focused on all the good you have in the life. Things to do on maternity leave are not always activities to keep you busy, you can learn to slow down every once in a while as well.

10. Explore your town

If you feel like you are being caged up in your house but you just don't feel like going out, then consider just walking around your town and find something new. Walk through a new park, check out the small shops, or visit a different coffee shop.

11. Take pictures

Your baby will only be tiny for a short amount of time and these are the moments you'll want to remember. Capture some memories of your little one so you can smile at them years down the road, for when you have to go back to work and you're missing them like crazy.

12. Snuggle

Hold your little one for as long as you can and just enjoy being with them. Take some time just to snuggle with your baby and bond.

Things to Address Before Maternity Leave

Now that you have plenty of options for things to do when you leave work, there are a few things you want to address prior to taking your leave. It can be easy to forget the smaller details, so double check this list to make the transition to maternity leave smoother.

1. Double check your company policies

Each company has different maternity leave policies and family leave days. Some companies pay for this time off and others do not, so you want to make sure you understand everything before you go on leave.

2. Financial planning

With all the things to do on maternity leave, one of the things you don't want to be stressing about is money. To help you better decide how long you should take leave after the baby has arrived, you want to go through your finances thoroughly. You want to enjoy your time off with your baby and not be constantly worried about how much you are spending on the things they need and how the extra income from you working would help out.

3. Childcare

You don't want to wait until you need to go back to work to start thinking about childcare. Will you be using a daycare, will family and friends be able to help, what if you need to travel for your job? You want to have a child care plan in place so you aren't stressed about what you are going to do once you have to return to work.

4. Leave your work at the office

For working moms, it can be hard to just not work and most often, this means their maternity leave is spent answering emails, hopping on business calls or still writing reports at home. While it can be hard to transition from working mom to just mom, you want to spend your maternity leave bonding with your baby, not in front of a computer working. Know who will handle your work while you are gone and catch them up on any information they need and then leave it in their hands.

5. Plan for visitors and help

Once the baby arrives, you are going to be getting phone calls from everyone wanting to come visit to see the baby. You want to plan out when you will be ready to have people visit, if people will be allowed to visit in the hospital and who will be staying at your home at first to help you out.

6. Get into mom mode

You may have everything you need for the baby, but what about learning how to breastfeed, soothing your crying baby, or even bathing them? You want to take some time to catch up on some parenting tips and tricks to put you in mommy mode. Take the time to just enjoy being a mom instead of rushing to get everything else done.

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