Having a new baby is tough, but maternity leave can also be a wonderful time to enjoy your new baby and bond as a family. Beyond spending quality time with the baby, there are a few other things you should consider building into your parental leave.
Here are some things to think about when planning your maternity leave:
Schedule some time for you
With a new baby, it’s easy to forget about your own needs, but it’s important to take some time for yourself during maternity leave. Whether it’s getting lunch with friends, reading a good book, or taking a yoga class, make sure to schedule some time for yourself. This will help you stay sane during what can be a hectic time.
Consider your budget and finances
New babies can be expensive. Before your maternity leave, it can be a good idea to look at your finances and budget for things like clothes and diapers. This can also be a good time for you and your partner to think about life insurance, which can provide financial security for your family if you pass away unexpectedly. If you already have life insurance, it can also be a good time to review what you have and decide whether it still meets your needs.
Make plans for childcare
If you’re planning on returning to work after your maternity leave, you’ll want to consider childcare. Research different options and find one that you’re comfortable with and fits into your budget.
Tap into your support network
From your partner to your friends and family, your support network can help keep you sane during maternity leave. They can provide company and even help with day-to-day tasks. Reach out to the people close to you and let them know that you’d love their support—they’ll tell you how they’d like to help or when they’d be able to keep you company.
Spend time with your partner
With a new baby, it can be tough to squeeze in quality time with your partner. This is a special time for both of you, and it’s important to stay connected with each other. Whether it’s going on a date night or just watching a movie at home, make sure to schedule some time for just the two of you.
Build in some quality time with your other kids
If you have other children, making sure they feel included when the new baby arrives can prevent them from feeling left out. You can schedule some one-on-one time with them or plan activities together, like reading a book to going to the park. Depending on their age, you can also let them help with the new baby in small ways, like entertaining the baby with toys or helping out at bath time. This can help them bond with their new sibling and help them feel included.
Get out and about
It can be easy to stay home all the time when you have a new baby. But getting out of the house can do wonders for your mental health. Get together with friends, go for walks, or just go out and run a few errands. Getting out will help you feel more connected to the world and less isolated.