Photo by Love Me Bright
It’s hard to imagine getting bored on maternity leave, especially if it’s after your first baby! When we first brought our baby home, the first two weeks felt like a blur – each moment was spent getting to know her and meeting her needs. But when the learning phase and visitors subsided, I found myself wondering what I would do with the pockets of free time naps provided. If you’re on maternity leave, it means you taking a break from a routine that includes working and keeping busy, so you may feel bored and unproductive.
Here are ten things you can do to keep busy in the midst of your break from your paid job:
1. Get some rest. Seriously. You deserve it. Taking are of a newborn can be exhausting with feedings around the clock, including through the night. Take advantage of the fact that you’re home during your baby’s nap time and rest up. There won’t be much time for that once you return to work.
2. Build a routine for your baby. Getting your baby on a schedule makes it easy to anticipate his or her needs. I have my daughter on an eat, play, sleep schedule, so if she’s fussy after playing for a while, I know she needs a nap. It will also help his or her caregiver know their routine once you go back to work.
3. Make and freeze meals. This will be a huge help on those crazy busy work days when you don’t have time to cook for your family.
4. Join a mommy and me group. Sometimes these groups can be expensive, but there are plenty of free mommy forums, such as SmartMom, where you can connect with other moms to discuss everything baby related.
5. Take a daily walk. As a new mom, you may be concerned about finding time to exercise. I’ve found that a walk is good for both me and baby. We are both less grouchy when we get some fresh air.
6. Take up a hobby, such as knitting. It’s amazing how productive you feel when you work with your hands and complete projects. It’s a great stress-reliever. Knitting relaxes me when I’m feeling stressed and keeps me entertained for hours.
7. Organize. You’ll thank yourself later when you open your pantry to grab a can of corn on a busy work day and everything is easy to find. Throw out old meds from your medicine cabinet. Alphabetize your books. Prepare plastic bins to fill up with clothes that begin to get snug on your baby.
8. Keep a journal of your baby’s firsts. It makes a wonderful keepsake – one that your child can flip through when they’re older.
9. Take pictures and frame them. It’s so easy to forget to take pictures when your’e focusing on changing diapers, feedings and naps, but make an effort to document special moments with your new little one. Don’t forget to get out from behind the camera and develop and frame them.
10. Catch up with friends. Take the time to spend time with your friends. It helps to take your baby out right after a feeding so they are comfortable and you can focus on some good conversation.
These activities could help ward off boredom during your maternity leave and may even help you learn something new or build good habits for the future.