main banner

How-To-Adjust-To-Maternity-Leave

How To Adjust To Maternity Leave

We’ve all been told time and again about what a magical time maternity leave is, and I’m sure many of you will have received endless jokes about how lucky you are to be on ‘holiday’.

But it’s completely normal if it takes you a while to adjust when you start maternity leave (particularly if you’re used to the schedule of a 9-5 work life,) and adjust again when you’re suddenly in charge of a tiny human.

So we’ve prepared some top tips for how to adjust to maternity leave before and after your new arrival:

BB (Before Baby)

Make Your Own Rules

Like schedule, and feel lost without one? Well, there’s no need to sit on the sofa thinking ‘I could do anything I want!’ If you want to ease into the freedom, work out a to-do list, and make your own schedule. Depending on energy levels, it may be nice to get up and get out early in the day, so you feel that you’ve achieved something. Just want a lie down? Do it! You’re carrying around a tiny human, and you’ll soon be giving birth … get all the sleep you can.

Arrange Helpers

I mean people who will cook you dinner, go grocery shopping, and watch the baby while you nap/shower. Not people who will sit on the sofa while you make them tea and tidy up around them. Book your friends and family in now, before everyone is too distracted cuddling the baby.

Test the merchandise

Before your little one arrives, make sure you actually understand how to install a car seat properly, clip together a baby sling, and fold up a buggy. You don’t want to do it for the first time with a baby in one hand.

Write down your birth preferences

If you haven’t already, make sure you have your birth preferences written down, and that your birth partner knows your thoughts on pain relief, and procedures during labour. Of course, things may change; but it’s good to prepare your thoughts so you don’t have to explain mid-contraction.

Book a treat

Whether you go out and get a hair cut, a (pregnancy friendly) massage, a leg wax; or just treat yourself to a relaxing bubble bath, and give yourself a manicure; now is the time to really look after yourself, and to feel like the best possible you.

Batch Cook

When you’re just home from the hospital, you’re not going to want to think about grocery shopping, or cooking wholesome food. If your freezer will accommodate it, make a couple of dishes ahead of time, that can be easily reheated.

AB (After Baby)

Get Outside

Being in charge of a tiny human can be intimidating; and many new moms are nervous of going out, while they’re still acclimatising to feeds and changes. So before your other half returns to work, or while you have company; make the effort to get out there and get some fresh air. Your confidence will build in no time.

Make the most of resources

Maternity leave can be a lonely time; which many don’t expect. But local breastfeeding groups, baby groups, and library events can be invaluable for meeting people in just the same situation; as well as giving you a greater sense of schedule. Nothing near you? There are also some great groups online like eumom’s Birth Clubs.

Be kind to yourself.

Though all your attention and energy might be going into your little one, make sure you also look after yourself. Ask for help from your nearest and dearest, so you can get the rest you need; and shower occasionally.

Discover Internet Grocery Shopping

Ever been half way around the supermarket when your little one suddenly wakes and demands to be fed/changed? If this is something you worry about, give yourself permission to order your groceries online … they’ll even carry everything in for you, so you can give your back a rest.

Make an effort

There’s no need to dress up for anyone but yourself; but stepping away from the cosy clothes, and putting on something that makes you feel good can make a world of difference for your confidence. Just make sure it’s washable, as we can’t promise it won’t be dribbled on.

Be Inspired

You don’t have to have a eureka moment, and immediately start your own business; but you also don’t have to resign yourself to watching only trashy daytime television. If you feel your brain turning to mush, check out a Ted Talk that interests you; get some books out from the library, or check out a new podcast.

Appreciate the moment

Just as you think you’re getting the hang of things, you may find yourself returning to work. So try to stay in the moment, marvel at the little developments your baby makes every day, make the effort to meet up with friends, and remember that you can do it. All too soon you won’t be able to imagine your growing child ever being so small!

What were your experiences of maternity leave? Did it take a while to adjust, or did you fit right in? Any tips for new/expectant moms? We'd love to hear.


About the Author

Emily is a writer, editor, blogger, and our Digital Content Assistant. She has three awesome nieces, and has accidentally worn the same outfit as them on at least one occasion. Emily likes making things, including hand-drawn cards, and a darn good chocolate cake. She still sounds very English, despite living in Dublin for the last nine years. More insight into the workings of her brain can be found on dancingcakesandsilence.blogspot.com.

Comments

Please login to leave a comment.