Maternity Leave Bucket List
Maternity leave can be both amazing and overwhelming, all at the same time.
If you are preparing to embark on this journey called motherhood, learn what other moms cherished the most and also what they wished they'd done! I called upon my mom tribe to recall their maternity leave experiences-
Here's what they had to say:
"I wish I wouldn't have worried so much about cleaning or being so productive when my baby was sleeping. I wish I also took more time for my health needs and napped instead of stressing about things." -Nichole O
“I wish I had taken the time to heal before trying to do too much. Just enjoy every snuggle and breath. They grow up too fast." -Shannon H
"I wish I had found Baby Boot Camp sooner and got out more when my baby would sleep anywhere." -Sarah W-J
“I didn't do nearly as much as I thought I would. I had grand plans for little projects around the house, lunch dates, blissful walks in the park. I was SO naive! I could barely keep up with laundry and bottles. With my oldest (a May baby), we did walk, but it took me an hour to go roughly a mile and my lady parts hurt so much afterward, I thought I'd ripped a stitch. With my mid-December twins, I think there were weeks I didn't shower, let alone leave the house. Yup, weeks. Maternity leave should be for resting and bonding. Anything else sets up unrealistic expectations for new moms!" -Molly M
“With my daughter, I was able to take 10 weeks off, but I still didn't feel like it was enough. We had many issues with breastfeeding and pumping and I felt like the first 8 weeks went by in a blur, the days just flew by and blended together. I felt like I really only had two weeks to enjoy and bond properly with her. Next time, I'd save money and any earned time off I could so that I could stay home as long as possible." -Katie K
“With my firstborn, maternity leave was perfect...long walks, marathon nursing sessions, lots of bonding time, visits with family and friends. When my second child was born, it was a whole new ball game since I also had a toddler at home. I wish now that I had known to plan more activities and to ask for help from family and friends to keep my toddler busy. I ended up going back to work at 9 weeks because I was bored and, honestly, my job was less work!" -Heather J
"I was fortunate to be able to take 6 months off after the birth of both of my children. With my first, I thought I would be super mom and have a nice dinner on the table every night, my house would be spotless, and I would be out and about on playdates and shopping. Instead, I spent most of my time topless because I was either hooked up to a breast pump or trying to get my son to latch properly...hoping no one knocked at my door! My house was a disaster, I was eating whatever I could find and my poor husband could do nothing right. Here is what I learned after baby #1:
- Tell people they need to call before stopping by because if I'm half naked or asleep, you should not be here;
- Make freezer meals before the baby comes for the times you just can't cook;
- Have friends drop off snacks instead of meals, such as cut up fruits and veggies and healthy food that is super easy to just grab;
- Don't feel like you have to look good, go anywhere, or do anything other than learn how to be a new mama;
- Set aside time for you and your partner to go out together and alone." -Julie H
So...what are your plans for maternity leave? Is there anything you'd change next time around?
Let's help those first-time mamas to enjoy every moment of their maternity leave!
In August '15, my career & passions took a 180 degree turn towards fitness & health. I became a health coach after obtaining a Master's in Public Health from Upstate Medical University & becoming a Certified Integrative Holistic Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I am also a Group Fitness Instructor through Aerobics and Fitness Association of America and absolutely love to teach fitness classes.
In December '16, I became a Baby Boot Camp Franchise Owner in Syracuse, NY after attending the mommy & me fitness classes near me and falling in love. I have always been an avid (amateur) runner and loved all things sports. Now, as a mother, I love to think of the image of mama and baby elephants walking trunk to tail and that image inspires my mission and purpose to listen to, dialogue with, and guide the wellness journey of other mama's to help them discover and meet their individual health and wellness goals! ♥ Kate Jwaskiewicz