Hi everyone! I hope you’re all doing well. I’m now back to work full time after having Teddy and finding my feet again. The past 6 months have been quite the blur but it’s been such an incredible journey. Perhaps I should do a life update for you in the upcoming posts because so much has happened and is still due to happen. It’s been a little chaotic, however, I thought I’d start off by sharing a few ideas of things to do on your maternity leave. I really tried to maximise my time with my precious newborn so as soon as both him and I were ready, I filled our calendar with daily activities and we made the most beautiful memories.
Let me start off by saying, having a newborn isn’t easy. You are bound to be sleep deprived, learning on the job, recovering from the delivery, cleaning non-stop and figuring out this new way of life. Somedays you may even feel lonely and in need of some adult chitchat. Somedays, a shower feels like a major accomplishment. Not every day is like that, though, and because it is such a special time in both your lives, it is time that should be treasured. To ensure that you have a little fun while you’re on maternity leave, I’ve put together a list of my suggestions for things to do on your maternity leave.
- Visit your local nature reserve, parks or zoo
One of the best things you can do after you’ve been given the all-clear to be active once again is walk with your baby. I really found that I needed a change of scenery and some movement during the days so walking was a great way to do exactly that. Teddy loves to be pushed in his pram so I went walking just about everywhere I could whether it was the golf course while Ryan was playing, around the neighbourhood, nature reserves and we also took Grandpa to the zoo as well. The zoo was such a fun day. We walked the full distance of the zoo and enjoyed every second! Teddy loved watching the animals, being outdoors and he slept in his pram when he needed to. It was a great day of family time so if your parents are available, it truly is wonderful to spend the day enjoying the zoo and three generations. Why not pop into the botanical gardens or the bird park? They’re bound to bring you so much joy simply by being out in the fresh air.
I have such fond childhood memories of the library so I couldn’t wait to take Teddy. It was delightful browsing through all the classic stories and picking out picture books as well as textured books for Teddy to enjoy. I love to read to him and he loves it too. Whether is a colourful picture book that he can enjoy while on my lap, a story for when we’re sitting out in the garden or a bedtime fairytale (we’re currently reading Peter Pan), he loves hearing the sound of my voice and it is such a wonderful habit to form from an early age. It is also a great way of teaching little ones communication and lays the foundation for early learning. I, myself, have fallen in love with children’s literature all over again and I am finding it so exciting to rediscover so many great works. Library membership is free – all you need is your ID and proof of address. You might even pick up a few books for yourself to enjoy while you’re on maternity leave. In case you didn’t know, the library offers both physical and digital books to its members. Definitely worth a visit!
- Post-natal workout classes
I can’t recommend this enough. I had an emergency c-section which made me quite nervous to do any type of workout because I didn’t know what might aggravate the healing process. I also had diastatis recti which meant I needed to be conscious of. My brilliant midwife recommended that I join Fit4Two and it made such a difference! They offer pre- and post-natal fitness classes which are given by biokineticists which is excellent because you really need a professional to help guide you through the safest movements to strengthen your weakest areas at this time of your life. The post-natal classes are actually mom & baby classes, however, Teddy slept through every class so I was on my own while he took a snooze for these. While the physical benefit is obvious and very necessary, I also used these classes to start generating a routine for our week which was great because I was finding that the initial weeks were a bit of a haze and each day blurred into the next. I also highly recommend Fit4Two because they offer a incredibly supportive network of moms to keep in touch with so whatever question you may have, this mommy network is bound to have the answer.
- Baby playgroup
I didn’t know if it was too early to start with a playgroup when Teddy was only a few weeks old but my dear friend, Melissa, encouraged me to go for it and I’m so glad I did. Whether it’s Moms & Tots, Bub Hub or any other playgroup for babies, I highly recommend you join. It is a great way to learn things about your baby and work on their movements and strength while having a lot of fun and many laughs. It’s been incredible to meet so many moms with babies roughly the same age as Teddy too. Moms & Tots continues to be the highlight of my week now that I’m back at work. It’s so much fun to see the skills and development take place in Teddy and its wonderful to be surrounded by such a special group of moms and babies.
- Photo albums
I have never taken as many photos as I have since having Teddy. I take so many each day. Rather than keeping these photos on your phone or laptop, I’d really suggest creating photo albums. I’ve done two so far – one through Orms and one through Foto First. Now’s your chance to print your baby shower, maternity and newborn pictures. When you’re back at work, you’ll be so busy juggling so many things, so take the time to create your albums while you can. Take yourself and your little one to a coffee shop during a nap time and use the time to upload your album and you’ll thank yourself later.
When you’re home, alone with your baby day after day while everyone else is working, it can be quite overwhelming, but when you have these exciting things added to you week, you’ll doing a bit of socialising, a little bit of fitness and recovery and having a whole lot of fun with your baby along the way By adding some of these to your calendar, you are bound to cherish your maternity leave and all the memories you will have created during this precious time.
Let me know if you have any other ideas or recommendations to add to this list. It’s love to hear them.