So far I have had four weeks of maternity leave, and after all my worrying that baby would come early, at the time of writing I am 40+5 weeks pregnant and no sign of him yet! I thought I would share a few things I have loved doing on maternity leave so far before baby arrives and throws our world into chaos.
I will also just say that in terms of arranging my maternity leave, I took a week of annual leave and then officially started my maternity leave at 38 weeks. I always knew there was a chance I would go overdue, but I wanted to give myself time to rest and prepare if he did come early. As it is he is taking his time, and as I write this he should appear soon-ish and will be here by the time you read this.
Getting our life in order. You know all those little jobs, like calling the broadband company, and setting up that direct debit that you just end up manually transferring every month? Maternity leave has given me time to do this. Basic life admin, but it feels so good to tick something off your list when it has been on there so damn long.
Finishing house projects. When I finished work at 37 weeks we had an unfinished kitchen, and by the end of my first week of maternity it had been tiled, cleaned and the floor re-laid, plus we had our new carpets fitted through the house as well. Yes it was a stressful first ten days off, having workmen in the house and coordinating things, but it was 100% worth it because now when I’m home it’s like a lovely little sanctuary.
Finishing DIY jobs. Yup, I have done my fair share of painting door frames, sorting boxes of stuff out, and re-filling our kitchen cupboards. I feel like the house is in a good state now for us to be able to keep it semi clean and tidy even with the demands of a newborn, as we have de-cluttered and simplified wherever we can.
Getting baby things ready. His nursery is pretty much ready, though still needs a bit of a clear out, and it definitely was NOT at all ready a few weeks ago. I have loved being able to take my time with sorting things out, arranging things, folding his clothes and just generally spending time with all of his things which will no doubt soon be in complete disarray around the house.
Catching up with friends. It’s been so lovely to be able to have leisurely midday coffees, brunches, evening meals and just time with friends. I know when the baby is here I will still be able to see them but someone else will always have my attention from when baby is born, and that’s 100% how it should be.
Naps. Ahhh napping is my new favourite hobby. All through pregnancy I have been good at resting but not so great at middle of the day falling asleep. I haven’t managed tons of naps during my maternity leave but I have had a couple of amazing afternoon sleeps on the bed which have recharged me.
A trip away. At the end of my first week of maternity leave I tagged along on Richard’s work trip to Wales. It was perfect, he went to work and I stayed in our lovely B&B room just relaxing, reading, catching up on phonecalls. Then I headed out for a wander around and some food, and then in the evening we had dinner together. Being away from home meant no cleaning or washing or life tasks were on my list, and it was the perfect way to unplug and just be.
Buying last minute baby things. By now we don’t have any major things on our list, though I’m sure there are things we will be amazon priming at 2am once baby is actually here. But little things I have picked up include a plastic mirror to go above the car seat (I know, I know, some people think they are a safety risk, but I don’t think I can drive without a way to glance over at baby!), extra baby bottles in case breastfeeding doesn’t go so well, and of course some super cute bits and pieces from Noah and Fred and Bear and Babe…I did buy bigger sizes for baby to grow into.
Sorting my wardrobe out. As I got more pregnant, things I physically couldn’t wear anymore got packed away. Now as I’m nearing the end of pregnancy, I have gone through my clothes and put away anything that’s not super breastfeeding friendly (shift dresses, I’m looking at you) and got some of my clothes back out which didn’t fit the massive bump. It’s hard to know what I will want to wear, how breastfeeding with go, and how big my tummy will still be, but I have got a good selection in my wardrobe and all the very unsuitable stuff is safely in a storage box for now.
Lunches and coffees. Yup, I am now officially a true lady of leisure, I have no idea how I ever had time for a full time job or how I will have time for a baby…I am of course joking but it’s amazing how quickly you can fill your days with social events. And I haven’t even got started on the mum and baby groups yet…
Now I know all of this is going to majorly change when baby arrives, so the above might seem like a very gratuitous list but I have tried to use these weeks to rest up, wind down and catch up on things I might not be able to do for a while once the little one arrives.
I can’t wait to meet him, I know he will come into our lives and be a complete whirlwind that we can’t even imagine right now, and that’s the most terrifying yet exciting thing ever. I will let you know how I get on with the next stage of maternity leave, i.e. the bit where I have an actual baby in tow.