Maternity leave isn’t something that’s easy for everyone. If you include yourself in this group, now is the time to get things together – before the baby arrives. Some tips and tricks you can use to make this time off count and enjoy the time you have with your little one are found here.
Get organized ahead of time
After letting your boss know you are pregnant, speak with the HR department to find out what type of maternity leave you are entitled to and how long your job will be waiting for you. There are some states that have certain provisions in place, so you can do your own research on this, too.
It’s also smart to begin tying up loose ends at your job long before your due date. You never know if your baby will make an early appearance. Begin by copying your co-workers on emails and make notes about new projects. You should also create expectations for your leave. For example, are you willing to take emails and phone calls? Make it clear how available you will be for work-related matters while you are on maternity leave.
Arrange for some help
You may think you’ll be able to handle everything on your own, but it’s a good idea to arrange for some help so you can get through the first few weeks with your new baby without too much stress.
You can find someone to help with grocery shopping, keeping you company and even light housework. By getting help planned out early you’ll feel more organized and be able to enjoy your time off more.
Come to terms with the fact that the first few weeks will be hard
You may think you can take advantage of this extra time off to plan a vacation or relax on a beach somewhere. Unfortunately, the first few weeks with a newborn in the house (even if it’s not your first) can be a shock.
Get used to being sleep-deprived and on-call 24 hours a day. Don’t worry though, it doesn’t have to be all work and no fun. You can begin looking into a vacation in a few months. For example, you could research European cruises or price a stay in a local bed-and-breakfast. This will also give you something to look forward to.
Explore your local area and neighborhood
It’s a good idea to make it part of your plan to get up, get dressed, and get out of the house at least once a day after the baby comes home. This is necessary for your own sanity. Take a walk around the neighborhood and find out where some other moms hang out or gather. You can also look for some of the best playgrounds or areas that are children and stroller friendly.
Arrange for some “mom” fun
There is only so much socializing that a new baby and postpartum body can handle. You may find yourself alone in the house, a sleeping baby, and unable to take a nap yourself. If this is the case, why not read a book you haven’t had time to open or watch one of the movies you favorited on Netflix?
If you are worried you may forget what you want to read or watch, make a list now, you will thank yourself for doing this later when you finally get some downtime.
If you need some outside “me time,” enlist your partner, husband, or even the baby’s grandparents to watch your new baby for a few hours. This will help you get a much-needed break and you’ll come back refreshed and ready to conquer mommy-duty.
Are you ready for maternity leave?
Maternity time can be a good time for you to bond with your baby. If you use the tips and advice found here, you will be well on your way to making the most of the time you have to spend at home with your new bundle of joy.