When preparing for the arrival of your baby, it is crucial to prepare for maternity leave as a period where you can make sure you and your baby are both well taken care of. It is also a time of change and growth for both you and your baby.
Many first-time mothers have unrealistic expectations about what maternity leave will be like. It is not surprising if you were to expect that you will be able to spend the time getting home projects completed or catch up on all their favorite shows while the baby sleeps! There are also mothers who are entrepreneurs who plan to take some time out for their business.
Expectations From Your Body, Emotions, and Brain
Not all mothers suffer every post-partum discomfort, but the list of possibilities is long. You may have your mind set up for Netflix or business you’d get done with all that “free time”. However, do yourself a favor and abandon those ambitions early. Give yourself permission to stop being “productive” and put the goals that you have aside temporarily.
During the first weeks, it is very common for first-time moms to experience extreme fatigue and heavy bleeding. If you’ve had a C-section or episiotomy, you will also be dealing with pain and wound care. Take the chance to sleep whenever your baby allows you to. Both of your bodies require equal amounts of rest! Focus on letting your body heal. Fuel your body with nutritious food.
Expectations From Your Constantly Changing Baby
During the first month or two, your baby will learn to do many incredible things.
By the end of the first month, your body should also feel a lot more familiar with what you are going through. Many new parents are ready to take their baby out for a few hours at a time or more. After staying home for a month at home, both you and your baby may be craving new sites and experiences outside.
At four to six weeks, your baby is likely to spend more of the daylight hours awake. This is the time to bond, interact, and entertain one another.
Keep A Journal
There can be a lot to think about when you’re home alone with your baby. Especially when you are sitting quietly and maybe, breastfeeding. You may find yourself thinking about everything from work to your dreams and aspirations for your baby. But by the time morning rolls around, those thoughts may be long gone.
Keep a journal and pen down your thoughts whenever possible! This helps keep you on track and allows you to process your feelings about work.
Spend Your Maternity Leave Wisely
Have chats with mothers who have gone through the same experience. Plan ahead for your maternity leave. You deserve the time and rest!