We all think it’s going to be easier than it is. We imagine that maternity leave will be like a long holiday in which we can get to enjoy life, see friends, and read books. Because of course we’ll know our baby and of course we’ll be better at it than everybody else!
It turns out it’s a bit different than that. Babies don’t keep to our schedules. That’s probably because they don’t know what schedules are. For that reason, if you don’t plan ahead you will find those weeks turn into a constant struggle to catch up to the baby situation. Like desperately trying to figure out where there is a changing room when the little one is wailing like a fire alarm.
Here are some things that you’ll definitely want to take care of before the little one arrives to enjoy your maternity leave instead of struggle through it.
You might think you don’t need it. But you will. So ask for it before you’re near the verge of tears. Find out who is willing to help and then play to their strengths. Mom might be a good babysitter for a few hours. Perhaps your brother or friend could help you with the shopping. And so on. By getting people you're close to to chip in for a few hours here and there, you’ll free up time to learn the skills that a new baby requires. In fact, it will be these moments where you get the help that will turn into those little vacations you were hoping for. And we need those.
When I’m talking about expectations, of course, I’m talking about your own. But not just those. You also have to adjust the expectations of the people around you. A lot of people will assume that things will continue as they used to be. That’s just not possible. Nor is it smart.
Instead, set things to your schedule and what you can cope with. A friend might want to meet at that little café you always go to, but if it isn’t baby friendly you should put a fork in that. Others might want your undivided attention to help them with something, like you'd normally be happy to before the baby. But sometimes, that’s just not possible.
Do what you want to do. Be selfish. At least for those first few weeks. Because that baby is already going to be claiming much of your attention.
Get New Friends
Being a new mother can be lonely. That’s because the friends you used to hang out with are going to be on entirely different wavelengths. They’ll be cool with hearing about what your kid got up to and how cute he burps for a little while, but after that, they’ll want to get onto the stuff you used to care about that. But right now you don’t care about that. It’s because you don’t have the attention or the energy to do so.
For that reason, find people that will understand what you’re talking about and share the same interest. Join a new mommy group in your area. Talk to people with babies. Share experiences.
Whatever you do, don’t be down on yourself. Be happy with the little things you do and keep doing more. Celebrate your achievements and don’t get too upset with yourself when you fall short. That’s life. And things will change again soon enough when you get into the swing of things.
The goal here is to focus on doing the things that will give you a bit of joy. For having a new baby is a huge system shock. They need a lot of attention and they don’t time when they will need it. That means you’ll have some adjusting to do. So adjust your social life to that. Find new friends and use the resources at your disposal.
When you do that, you’ll find there is actually time for more than simply sitting at home and you can enjoy your maternity leave!
By Angela Baker
Angela Baker is a freelance writer who is discovering new ways for personal and professional growth. Currently she`s working in the top essay service, Best Essay Education and improving herself in the blogging career. Angela is an experienced and self-driven specialist who cannot imagine her life without writing.
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