Love | Keep | Treasure
11 November, 2019
Maternity leave at first can seem like an exciting bit of time off. Just you and your baby, and the world as your oyster.
Whether you’ve got nine months, or a full year planned, once maternity leave arrives, sometimes the reality can be very different from the expectation.
Yes, you have all this time, but how on earth do you spend it. After all, in the early days, babies aren’t exciting company.
After a few months of rest and recovery, it’s common to feel both overwhelmed with your new-found time, and bored. Which we must add is completely normal. If you’ve worked for most of your life and led a busy social life, a big space of free time can feel suddenly strange and lonely.
To help you fully embrace maternity leave and the real joy it can bring, we’ve shared our guidance on how to make you feel less at a loss.
Get Out of The House
Once you’ve fully recovered from labour, and feel like you’ve got your little ones feeds managed, now is the time to escape those four walls.
To begin with, start taking a leisurely stroll around a local park. This is a great way to trial run how both you and baby feel about being out of the house. Plus if anything is forgotten home is close enough.
When you’ve got your confidence up begin making plans to visit friends or relatives, or planning small day trips out of the house. Even venturing for a bit of coffee and cake can feel like a welcome break from home.
Ask for Help
As a new parent, you may feel like you’ve got to know it all. But you don’t. And you certainly don’t need to be the perfect parent and partner all at the same time.
In the early days, it can feel like you’re doing so much and not feeling as though you’re getting the rest that you need. If this is the case, then ask for help, in whatever way you need it. Whether you need support in keeping the house clean, preparing dinners for you and your partner, or just watching the baby for an hour while you take a shower. Ask for help.
You know what they say, it takes a village to raise a child, so call on your tribe when you need them.
During your maternity leave, it may be rare that friends and relatives will also have time-off, which means social interaction with other adults may become almost non-existent. This is where its time for you and your baby to get out and discover some new like-minded friends.
There are many baby groups and activities that you can attend as mother and baby. Here you’ll find people who can understand the pain and joy of new parenthood.
If a mother and baby group seems daunting at first, find an alternative activity such as baby yoga. An activity can help reduce the pressure of parent talk and help you find new friends without it feeling forced.
Take a Break
Yes, while maternity leave is mainly about you and your baby bonding, don’t forget to take some precious self-care.
You may get a major surge of guilt when you first take a short break to have a massage or even a manicure, but that time is essential for you to recharge. Both mentally, and physically you need a break from being a new mum, and to remember that beyond the nappies and night feeds, you are also YOU!
If it’s possible, try to get into the routine of having these self-care moments on a regular basis. Whether it’s visiting the gym in the evening while your partner looks after the baby, or getting a relative to watch the baby at the weekend while you have a little pamper.
Getting into the habit of this self-care will also help you as baby gets older. Trust us; you’re always going to need ‘you-time’, so it’s time you got used to it.
If your partner can book a holiday during your maternity leave, this is a prime opportunity to take your first family holiday.
Travelling with a baby is surprisingly much easier than with a toddler, so embrace this age to travel a little further without the tantrums.
Long-haul holidays are possible with a baby in tow, and many of the luxurious resorts we know cater very well to babies so parents can take a little break together.
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