Things to Do on Maternity Leave

Things to Do on Maternity Leave

Your pregnancy week by week

Looking for things to do on maternity leave? Remember: there should be no extra pressure to do anything you don’t want to do just before or just after becoming a mama.
So, while we’ll leave a little list of possible maternity leave activities here, you do you. Move at your own pace, and decide for yourself what’s doable.

At the same time, believe it or not, some mamas do report feeling bored on maternity leave. There might be only so much self-care you can handle before you want to get back to doing stuff again. And that’s okay, too.

In this blog post, we’re running through some things to do while on maternity leave – both before and after your baby arrives. Yep, there will be some practical things on your list that you’ll want to get done – but there’ll be plenty of time to do fun things, too.

What should I do on maternity leave before baby arrives?

Before the little one arrives on the scene, you may have a bit of time on maternity leave (depending on your situation and the work laws in your state or country).

But what should you do with this time? Here are some ideas to think about:

  • Get accustomed to not working. Some mamas struggle to switch off, and that’s totally understandable. But remember, on maternity leave, you’re entitled to step away from work completely. Clear communication with your work team about your intentions before you go can be helpful.

  • Draw up a little action plan for the big day. Hospital bag by the door? Check. Route to the hospital planned avoiding the roadworks? Check. Alternatively, the strategy for the home birth? The little sprout you’re bringing into the world can be a master of surprises, so it’s helpful to get all this planned in advance.

  • Double-check you’ve got everything you need. Ah, the high chair your aunt gave you doesn’t work? You’ve lost the pacifiers? There’s only one pair of pyjamas? There’ll always be something you’ve forgotten.

  • Do some things you might not have an opportunity to do again for a while, such as:

    • Pampering. Getting a haircut, manicure, pedicure, or anything else that you might have less time for once your little one arrives.

    • Get the essentials in. You don’t want to run out of loo roll on day two post-birth. Write a big ol’ list of the boring stuff you need to keep you going.

    • Deep clean. Hmmm. Perhaps it’s best to delegate this?

    • Spend a night with friends. You might not feel up for it – and again, that’s totally okay. But one thing to do on maternity leave before baby arrives could be to hang out with all the pals you might not see much in the coming weeks.

    • Chill. This needs to be on any list of what to do on maternity leave. Sleep, Netflix binge, lie in. This rest reload will come in useful.

Practical things to do on maternity leave (after baby arrives)

The little one has arrived. Congrats! And if you’re prodding “what to do while on maternity leave” into Google, it sounds like you’re feeling up to taking more on.

  • Rest. Sneaking this to the top of the list. Rest is crucial, even when you feel like you’re well-rested. Take it easy if you can.

  • Get out of the house. This one’s on the practical list, because it’s more a need than a want. Things can get a little stuffy when you’re home all day. A simple stroll around the block every day can clear your head and give you a bit of perspective.

  • Talk to your insurance company. Many health insurance plans require you to tell them when you have a baby, as they’ll need to cover the little one too. Not really a fun thing to do on maternity leave, we know.

  • Checking in on the finances. Some mamas start saving for college immediately. Others want to get to the end of their mat leave comfortably. Whatever your situation, doing a little audit on your finances might be a useful task for now.

  • Test your daycare plan. Whether you’re opting for daycare, a nanny, or a granny, taking a week at the end of maternity leave to see how it all goes while you are still available can help make things a little smoother before you start work.

  • Prep for the return to work. If you intend to go back to work, it can be tough when the day comes. Easing yourself in with reduced hours might be helpful, but that depends on whether your employer is open to it.

What can I do to make money while on maternity leave?

Taking unpaid maternity leave is difficult for many mamas. But if you want to make some money on the side while on maternity leave, there are lots of options to consider.

You might want to try your hand at home-based freelancing – perhaps writing, social media management, doing voice-overs, design, assisting with admin or accountancy, or anything else that fits your interests and skills. Or you might want to try doing some online tuition.

You can also create and sell your own arts and crafts, on a platform like Etsy (others are available). There are also lots of platforms for finding freelance work. Google is a good place to start if you’re looking to be matched with companies looking for freelancers.

Fun maternity leave activities – for when you have the energy

So, what fun things can you do on maternity leave? Here are a few options:

  • Keep a daily journal. This is great for your future memories, but also can be beneficial for your mental health. Journals are fantastic outlets for emotions, and writing down your experiences can help you find perspective.

  • Invite friends and family over. Having a stream of guests might get a bit exhausting, but loved ones coming to see the new celebrity is a nice way to spend some time.

  • Have a romantic night in. Chances are you’re not going out on the town. Instead, light some candles, make a tasty meal, and recreate some romance at home.

  • Start a photobook. Capture every moment to cherish later.

  • Get creative. Arts and crafts don’t have to be a side hustle. It’s also to unwind.

  • Take a trip. If you feel up to it, perhaps towards the end of maternity leave, you can take your little one for a trip into the big wide world. Some mamas travel the world on maternity leave, but let’s not pretend that’s the norm. We’re all welcome to enjoy a journey – or a weekend away – which is a little closer to home.

Read also:
Going Back to Work After a Baby: What To Know
21 Great Maternity Photoshoot Tips
What is a Milk Bath Maternity Shoot? (& How To Do One)

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