Making the most of maternity leave

The first weeks of maternity leave are a time to enjoy the calm before the storm.
The first weeks of maternity leave are a time to enjoy the calm before the storm. Photo: Getty Images

Well, I have to say I'm quite rapt that I've made it through my first week of maternity leave and so far, no baby!

I consider this a reasonable success given the amount of friends I've had whose babies have decided to make their entrance no sooner than the out of office message has been put on their emails.

The main theory for these early arrivals seems to be that the body finally 'relaxes' once you're out of the workplace and then ta-dah, you're away.

I've had a number of people contact me to ask how maternity leave is going so far and I have to say, it does take a bit of getting used to.

It's strange waking up each day knowing you can do everything or nothing on your to-do list.

It has been a busy week so far; hosting friends from out of town, shopping for those extra little bits and continuing on with things that need to be done.

But there are some other things that I'm planning on filling these weeks with in order to make best use of this special time.

They include:

Long, hot showers

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I love my shower. Love. So I'm really enjoying not having a time pressure when it comes to being able to just stand there for however long I want. Sure, the gas bill probably doesn't like it, but I do some of my best thinking in that shower.

Hitting the sales

OK so I've kind of already done this, but it's fair to say I pretty much refuse to pay full price for much these days. Having my days free means the ability to hit up sales outside of peak shopping hours.

Pamper yourself

Bless my workmates for getting me a voucher to get some beauty treatments at my favourite place. I can't wait for a spa pedicure (Oooooh, my poor tootsies! I haven't been able to reach them for ages!) and a head, neck and shoulder massage wouldn't go amiss. I also booked a hair appointment ages ago to coincide with baby's due date. Here's hoping it doesn't come beforehand; I am not a fan of regrowth and oh-so-vain-me wants to feel 'fresh' for labour. Goodness knows it'll be ages before I get to nip away to the hairdresser once baby arrives.

Meeting up with other mums-to-be

This is one of the nicest things to do on maternity leave. It's great meeting new friends and being able to talk about your journey with someone going through a similar thing.

Cleaning/nesting

Having an entire day to decide what you want to do means finally having the hours in the day to do those chores that you never found time for before. I plan on hitting the pantry and clearing that out, rejigging the things in storage in the garage, and finally attacking 'those' drawers - you know, the ones with all the 'stuff' in it...

Getting out of the house

I'm trying to say yes to any invites out to see friends or attend things that may be difficult with a wee one. Everyone talks about how long it takes to leave the house with a baby so even if it's a quick trip out, I relish in the ability to just grab my keys, phone and wallet and go.

Go out for dinner

Next week, Mr Greer and I plan on going out for a nice meal at a nice restaurant, knowing it may be one of the last times we get the chance to do so in a while. Sure, we'll probably just go and talk about Bebe Berry, but that's likely to be the case once it arrives also...

Getting to know your boobs

If you're planning on breastfeeding, have a chat to your local maternity nurse or lactation consultant about expressing colostrum before you have baby. This is something I learnt about recently and have been giving it a whirl. It takes time to get to know your chesticles so maternity leave is the perfect time to get aquainted. 

Take bump photos

OK, so you probably feel like a whale but this is the best time to get a couple of photos of your belly before bubs arrives. You don't have to pay a professional to do it; there are heaps of ideas on Pinterest that you could easily copy.

We had some photos taken and I'm really glad that we can look back on them as a record of this special time. Just remember, you might not want them now but if you don't have them at all, you might look back and regret it.

- Essential Mums