The reality of maternity leave
The moment you stepped away from the office to prepare for the imminent arrival of your newborn was terrifying, daunting and exciting all at the same time. The mix of emotions was probably exemplified by the raging pregnancy hormones that were pumping around your body at the time. Now that you are cradling your little one in your arms, it can be hard to imagine life before this tiny human being existed. Being on maternity leave is the most precious time where you witness an abundance of firsts for your little cherub, you begin to see a personality form, and you simply enjoy witnessing your baby grow.
However silly it sounds, your maternity leave shouldn’t be all about the baby. You should also take time for yourself and work out what it is you want to do now that you are a mum. There are plenty of opportunities out there for the taking. You could venture back to your old role, work for yourself or simply become a full-time mummy. Maternity leave gives you the time you need to work on yourself and your goals while not becoming cocooned in a new mum bubble.
Look To The Future
If you’ve left a corporate environment and you’re keen to return, even on a part-time basis, you could spend some of your maternity leave upskilling yourself. There are plenty of lean manufacturing education, MBA and management qualifications that you can enrol in online. This gives you the perfect flexibility to look after your little one and study at the same time. Preparing yourself for a possible promotion means that you are still ambitious and hanker after a meaningful career.
Meet Up With Friends
It’s vital when on maternity leave that you still make time for your friends, especially those without kids. While you used to get annoyed with those pals experiencing motherhood for the first time just harping on about the cost of nappies and vaccinations, you have now morphed into one of those beings. Try to hold it down a little and enjoy the adult conversation you can partake in with your nearest and dearest.
Pursue New Interests
While a baby does take up a lot of time, it’s also key that you find some ‘me’ time to help you destress. Once a week, leave your precious darling with your partner and pursue an interest. This could be learning a new language, heading to the sports hall to enjoy a game of netball with pals or even going to art school. Finding a hobby that allows you to relax and be something other than a mum for a little while is important to maintain your sense of identity and will give you a confidence boost.
Becoming a mum really is an incredible experience. Your life will never be the same again, but this is no bad thing. You now have a new human being to take care of, nurture and love unconditionally. Just remember to allocate some of your maternity leave to focus on your wants and needs so you can become the best mum you can be.
This is collaborative post.