I have been busy for the last decade of life and having some serious time on my hands while on maternity leave has been a blessing but it has also thrown me for a loop. No meetings, no hustling around the Bay for work, no alarm clocks…what is a girl to do? Well, I have established a great routine that have made for a productive few weeks pre-baby and we are officially ready for baby Yusuf to arrive now! Please see my maternity leave tips and tricks below to get the most out of the time you have before your baby arrives.
Preparing your home and nursery for baby: This one is obvious and this is the whole point of taking time pre-baby to prepare. Get your nursery and home all set up for your baby’s arrival. Although your baby may not be sleeping in his/her nursery for some time, it is still a relief to have a designated space established and decorated for baby. It makes it feel very real! I spent my first couple of days doing all the baby laundry and sorting/organizing all clothes and baby items by size and such. While it may seem like a quick task, it was not! Ensure you have thoughtfully thought through sleeping and changing locations on each floor of your house and/or in rooms that will be used most often by you and baby. Last thing: do not forgot to install your carseat in your car so you are ready to go at any moment!
Tackle one project per day: Besides preparing for baby, there were so many projects that I wanted to tackle, and since I was working 12+ hours per day prior to my leave, I never had time to actually get to these projects. My plan of action was to tackle one room per day and clean/declutter every inch of that room. By the end of my first two weeks off, my house was organized and tidy! I still have two major areas to tackle (the garage and the front patio) and these are two spaces that I am dreading. Perhaps I should have started with these, but…you live and you learn! It will all get done!
Stay active: What is your favorite way to stay active while pregnant? Ensure you take time for this everyday and schedule it in to your daily schedule, If you leave it off your to-do list, you will overlook it, and my the end of the end when the fatigue (and swollen feet haha) kick in, you will not want to take time for this, so get it done and do it early in the day if possible. My health was my biggest priority throughout my pregnancy. Healthy mama, healthy baby! More on my favorite pregnancy workouts to come…
Schedule day-dates: Okay, some real-talk here. Things can get mundane and boring if you are just working away on your projects, so be sure to schedule in some time to connect with friends and family if they are available. Schedule lunch dates, coffee dates, dinner appointments and other meet-ups to stay social and connected.
Get caught up on all of your personal beauty and health appointments, and indulge a little bit: Take care of all the things that have been on the back burner. Book yourself a mani/pedi, hair appointment, dentist appointment, doctor’s appointments…all the things you need to get done pre-baby. You have time, so use it wisely to ensure getting your hair touched up is the last thing on your mind once baby arrives. Get it done now, so you can focus on your little one upon his/her arrival.
Create a “to-read” list: I have been a machine. I have read through my entire stack of books and I have listened to all of my audiobooks that were on my wishlist. Reading brings me a lot of pleasure and it is very relaxing. I have not had much time to read in the past, so this time has been a treat. To keep it affordable, visit your local library or get used books via Amazon (or by visiting your local used book store). After you have read all of your books, you are set up for a great book exchange with friends!
Pack your bags: A necessary step! Do not forget to pack your bag with all the things you will need for the hospital. Also, be sure to pack a newborn outfit for your baby so you are ready for the journey home and ensure your partner has their necessary items packed and ready to go. You will feel much more comfortable once this step is complete and you will be ready at a moments notice whenever your baby decides to arrive.