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Six things to make time for on maternity leave
It’s wonderful to be able to take time off with a new baby, but it can also leave you a little stir crazy. We sat down with Jen, mom of two and Tinybeans team member, to get a couple of tips on things you can do for you, while still taking care of your tiny bean.
I’ll admit it. I’m a bit of a freak when it comes to to-do lists. I’ve always got several going with what needs to happen at home, at work, at school and everywhere in between.
I’m thankful that with the birth of each of my two kids, I had the ability to take time for a maternity leave, but with me being….well….me, I had a list of things I wanted to get done. It goes without saying that the top of the list is caring for and bonding with your newborn, but it’s also important to think about what you need for yourself (and to still feel like yourself) as a new mom. Plus, it’s nice to take a break from endlessly scrolling through Instagram. And so I present to you: the Maternity Leave Bucket List.
1. Is there a TV series you’ve been wanting to binge? Now’s the time. Whether you’re nursing or using bottles, you’re going to be spending a lot of time feeding that sleepy little potato you’ve just sprung from your body. Yes, you’ll want to stare lovingly at your baby during feedings, but who can keep that up for 30 minute stretches all day every day? Maybe it’s time to finally watch The Wire. Or Catastrophe. Or Real Housewives of whatever. Note: only works if it’s your first baby. You probably don’t want your older child(ren) watching Idris Elba as a vicious kingpin, fantastic as the performance may be.
2. Learn a new language! Nope, I’m not crazy. With my second, I couldn’t do the aforementioned TV binge, but I still wanted to do *something* to keep my brain active. Enter Duolingo. It’s a great app to help you learn a language in 5-minute chunks and more importantly, you can do it one-handed. Bonus: your precious little nugget is getting exposed to a second language too. ¡Qué bueno!
3. Read. Easier to do if you have an e-reader or an app on your phone, because once again, one handed. I recommend both books you’ve always wanted to read (Pride and Prejudice?) and beach reads because: sleep deprivation.
4. Make a mom friend. Taking care of a newborn is rewarding, but can also be incredibly frustrating. For example, when there’s a blowout after you’ve spent more than two hours getting both you and the potato ready to leave the house. You can scream. It’s ok. Get yourself to a place with moms! It could be My Gym, story time at the library, a local park—doesn’t matter. Find someone else with a baby and say hi. Before you know it, you’ll be sharing gruesome stories, even if you can’t remember her name (sleep deprivation) and you’ll be so happy to know you’re not alone in the madness.
5. Post-natal massage. ‘Nuff said.
6. Make sure you’re capturing those sleepy sighs and captivating toothless grins. It may not seem like it now, but the early weeks go fast. I’m obviously biased, but Tinybeans is so helpful save everything from the measurements to the milestones. You may think you’ll never forget the exact moment you got that first giggle, but sadly, it’ll fade. Give yourself the gift of having it there in your pocket whenever you want it, phone storage be damned.
Just because you’re doing it all for your new lil’ spud doesn’t mean you can’t still do things for you. What would you add? Tell us in the comments.
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