I have literally been counting down the days and minutes until my maternity leave started!
Finally, it’s here and this will be my first full week on maternity leave.
As some of you may know I haven’t had the easiest of pregnancies – between hyperemesis and a fractured pelvis I’ve struggled with keeping up with working mum life.
And so I’m really relieved to be taking some time off to take care of myself a bit better before baby Theo arrives.
When I had Lily I felt like I didn’t really make the most of my maternity leave – my anxiety and depression made it a struggle some days to leave the house and I hated going to playgroups. Scott worked long shifts to support us and I didn’t have any ‘mum friends’ which meant that during my maternity leave I felt very much alone.
I’m hoping that this time around I have a very different experience during my time off.
Of course, there’s no knowing how I will feel once the baby is here but I’m making lots of plans to encourage myself to make the most of my maternity leave.
I’m a big lover of a bucket list (you can see my travel one here) so figured it would be a great way to motivate myself to enjoy the time off work with my little one!
My Maternity Leave Bucket List
Here is my Maternity Leave Bucket List:
1. Go Swimming
My body confidence is not great and I’ve always let it get in the way of my love for swimming.
I’d like to change that on maternity leave and make the most of off-peak swimming sessions with the baby.
2. Walk, Walk, Walk Some More
Getting out in the fresh air is always a good idea. Walking will not only benefit my health (and help me get rid of some jiggle) but will also be a great help to me mentally.
I really get miserable being cooped up indoors and I’ve spent way too much of this pregnancy on bed rest!
3. Schedule a Pampering Treat
Money is going to be really tight for us during my maternity leave – particularly as my income is the higher one normally.
So I’m not going to have much money at all to spend on myself.
That being said a pampering treat is something that all mums could do with when they are feeling rough post-partum and so I’m putting aside a little cash to treat myself to a massage or mani-pedi during my maternity leave.
4. Learn a New Skill
Whilst I’m not expecting to have tonnes of free time whilst on my maternity leave (hello – baby to keep fed!) I would like to think I’ll have more time than I do now.
I’d like to spend some of that time learning a new skill.
I’ve not decided what yet but maybe something I can tie into my career or blog – I’ll let you know!
5. Take a Solo Day Trip
Like I said above my anxiety reached a real peak after having Lily. I’d like to think that it’s a lot better now, and I’ve done a lot more solo travel since then.
I’d like to almost ‘test’ myself by taking a solo day trip with the baby – it would really push me out of my comfort zone but I think it would also be a great experience.
6. Complete Couch to 5k
Before I fell pregnant I’d taken the plunge and started ‘running’. I use the term running loosely as it was more of a light jog but I was actually really enjoying the couch to 5k programme.
One thing I’d like to do on maternity leave is to complete the programme.
7. Tour Local Coffee Shops
I love sharing local places here on the blog but don’t get much time to visit places and take photos or write reviews.
I’d like to spend more time exploring our area – and even London itself. And I’ll definitely need the coffee 😉
8. Go to Mum & Baby Groups
When on maternity leave with Lily I really struggled with mum & baby groups.
I was very concious that I was a young mum (I was 20 when she was born) and I felt like I was being judged by the other mums.
It might not be any better this time round but I’d like to give it a shot – after all some mum friends with similar aged babies would be great to have.
Recently Lily and I have been watching The Great British Bake Off on Netflix and I’ve rediscovered the joy of baking.
I’m certainly not a professional, and I won’t be making a gingerbread collosseum any time soon, but I’d like to bake more often.
It would also help us to save money if I manage to perfect a few simple bread and cake recipes!
10. Watch ALL The Boxsets
I’ll be making a lot of use out of our Netflix subscription whilst on maternity leave I’m sure.
I can imagine it being a bit of a life saver during those middle of the night feeds – when Lily was a baby I watched so many episodes of Family Guy late at night on BBC Three that I ended up hating it!
At least now there’s a lot more choice at the click of a button – any boxsets you would recommend?
And because that’s clearly not enough ideas I asked some of my lovely blogger friends for their ideas too, here’s what they said:
Lauren said ‘Stay in bed allll day… and watch every single episode of Grey’s Anatomy’
Gail said she ‘really enjoyed sitting on the sofa with my sleeping baby on my chest enjoying guilt free daytime TV!’
Beth reminded me to ‘Nap. Take ALL the naps you can!’
Laura said ‘A visit to the beach on a hot, sunny weekday when it’s quite quiet :)’
Becky said ‘Oh absolutely take baby to see Santa it is a MUST and such a sweet memory and first for you both!’
Sinead suggested ‘Going out and drinking as many warm beverages as you can in silence and without having to share the cake – that’s what nap time is all about :)’
Love Teri’s idea of ‘Sign up for a baby massage class. It’s a lovely bonding experience for mum and baby but also a great way to meet local mums on maternity leave too’
Carolin said ‘Get together with friends. Friends and getting out of the house are so so important and will help keep you sane!’
Lianne suggested ‘Read loads of books’
And whilst I definitely won’t be doing this – Jenna’s comment made me laugh – ‘Is it bad that my intention on my current maternity leave was to get pregnant again?! 😂 successful! 14 weeks down with surrogate baby 🙌🏻 work are going to love that!’
What do you think I should include on my bucket list?