Most pregnant ladies finish up work a few weeks before starting maternity leave. This pocket of time between having no job stress and awaiting your bundle of love to arrive is blissful and exciting.
Here’s how I think every first time-mum-to-be should spend it, before a little someone arrives and rocks your whole world – in the best possible way!
1. Have a cafe date with a good friend
There will be plenty of opportunities to catch up with good friends when they visit to swoon over your new baby, but catching up at a cafe with your bestie may not be the same. While you might still be ordering your regular peppermint tea, you will probably struggle to follow a conversation with your buddy when you’re breastfeeding in public for the first time and your little one is fussing. Indulge in some quality coffee dates now and all that lovely uninterrupted conversation.
2. Get a hair cut
I remember my hairdresser commenting on how greasy and unkept my mane was six months after having a baby. I hadn’t taken my mum-bun out much and to be honest. I’d stopped looking after it as I had something far more important consuming my attention. I needed hair SOS that day and had a big chop! Now is the time to make an appointment with your hairdresser because it may be a while before you get back into that seat (and have to arrange a babysitter to do so). If you do get a cut, make sure your hairdresser doesn’t chop too much off – you’ll still want to tie it back in a pony tail, especially if breastfeeding.
3. Stock up on baby supplies
You don’t want to get home from hospital with your newborn and need to dash to the shops to pick up wipes, nappy rash cream or whatever else you may not have stocked the nursery with. I thought had everything before our little one arrived, but I was still sending my husband to the all-night chemist to pick up nipple cream and breastfeeding pads once we got home from hospital. If you aren’t sure of what you’ll need, this newborn checklist has you covered.
4. Snooze, nap, rest, have ALL THE SLEEP!
The onslaught of new baby sleep deprivation is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. You are no doubt tired now, but I’m sorry to say, sleep is the thing you’ll crave more than anything else when this baby arrives. Fill up on it now while you don’t have an alarm clock screaming at you to get up for work, allow yourself to nod off during the day and go to bed early. I can’t stress this one enough!
5. Nurture yourself
Pretty soon you’ll put yourself second for I don’t know how long, maybe always? Now is the time to really take care of yourself and enjoy being able to just focus on you. Indulge in whatever makes you feel calm and centred – whether that’s a walk along the beach, window shopping, a massage or a reading a book – to give yourself a chance to relax and enjoy this beautiful period of time as you await your greatest love.
6. Give your relationship a love boost
Parenting author Pinky Mckay says, “No matter how prepared you are for the practical aspects of becoming parents, a whole freezer full of frozen casseroles can’t prepare you for the effects a baby will have on your relationship.” Personally, I found this to be true. While my husband and I were rock solid going into having a baby, after a year of sleep deprivation, things did get a little shaky between us (we’re fine now!). Give your relationship a little love top-up now by going out together, saying those three magic words as often as you like and maybe also having a little chat about how things might get hard in a few weeks time so you’re prepared.
7. Cook some freezer meals
Plan not to need to cook dinner for a while by making double dinners now and freezing the second one. While friends and family will no doubt want to feed you and will drop in meals when you first get home from hospital (bless!) you’ll thank yourself when those dinners have been gobbled up for thinking ahead.
8. Finish reading that book
Pretty soon you’ll be obsessively reading baby guides and that novel you’re addicted to now may not get finished. Make it your your mission to finish reading it before bub arrives. It may be a while before you indulge in this booky pastime again.