10 things to do on your maternity leave

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Wow, 38 weeks! That means there are just two weeks left before baby Sproutette is due, and pretty much a maximum of four weeks before she is born. I am super excited and super scared at the same time!

Last week was my first week off from work on maternity leave. And boy did I get bored. In fact, I got so bored and cabin feverish that I found myself worrying how I was going to cope spending the majority of my time at home and whether I was going to go insane!

So, I did what a lot of people would do when stupidly bored and googled fun things to do whilst on maternity leave. I thought I would share the ten best suggestions I found with you all, in case you too are suffering from extreme boredom during maternity leave, or even just feeling bored in general!

Blog your heart out.
Granted, I have not exactly followed this one myself - having disappeared off the face of the Earth for the majority of January in order to enjoy the last little bit of me time. However, if you are sat around at home waiting for the baby to arrive, it is the perfect time to get a batch of blog posts written up ready for when things aren't quite so quiet.

Something that I have found is that it is also a fantastic opportunity to take lots of photographs - as I am home throughout the day and can therefore take advantage of the daylight hours, rather than having to do my best with the dark evenings.

Sort out the house
If you are feeling anything like me at the moment you will be finding that doing the housework and sorting out all of the bits that you wanted to sort out in the house is easier said than done. I can barely get through cleaning one room without having to sit down and rest, let alone think about moving on to the next.

But sorting the house out doesn't have to be done in one fell swoop - take your time and do a room a day, helping you to get it looking spick and span without wearing yourself out. I have set myself a little chart up for a room a day, so that I keep on top of everything but don't feel too daunted by the task at hand.



Swat up on daytime TV
I don't know about you but I hate most daytime TV.

However, there are a couple of programs that I enjoy watching and have taken great pleasure in getting to know when these programs are on throughout the day, and on which channel, and sitting down for a bit of mindless TV watching.

Pamper yourself
This is one that you will generally hear from everyone, but take some time out for yourself. Sleep in, get your hair done, have a manicure and generally treat yourself. Once baby comes you won't get much chance to do this so take advantage of it now!

I, personally, have been taking a lot of yummy warm baths and am considering indulging in the large candle and Radox bath soak that I got from my lovely colleagues as a leaving present the other week (for someone who doesn't generally do candles, this is a big thing!).

Indulge in your hobbies
Whether you enjoy playing video games, crafting or gardening or even just wandering round taking photographs, take advantage of this time to indulge in these hobbies to your heart's content. Of course, if you enjoy doing more active things like dancing or even hang-gliding, this may have to take a slight step to the side but generally do something that you enjoy.

Otherwise, if you are anything like me, you will go insane from boredom and being cooped up inside.

Read your favourite book
You are about to enter the era of reading the same children's book over and over again so take this time to sit back, relax and read your own favourite books.

After all, the more reading practice you get in now, the easier you will find it later to wrap your head around some of those tongue-twizzling children's books. (Anyone that has tried to read The Best Chip by Kate Leake will know what I mean).

See your friends
As we get older and our lives get bigger and busier, it can be difficult to catch up with friends on a regular basis. Add a baby who needs your constant attention in the to mix and the opportunities to go girly shopping or just have a drink with your friends become rarer and rarer.

Therefore take advantage of this time to meet up with friends, and even family members who you don't see that often. Yes, they may be working and unable to meet you during the day but that doesn't stop you arranging something for an evening or a weekend.
Get out and about
I have always struggled to stay in the house for long periods of time without going anywhere. A perfect example of this is that fact that, by the end of my first day of maternity leave, I was bored and feeling cabin-feverish.

Now, I do not have access to a car on a regular basis (myself and my husband share a car) but I have been trying to get out and about in the local area, making trips in to town just for coffee, going for a walk around the village or going out and getting any small bits of shopping we may need. If I have been unable to get out I have tried to sit myself by a window so that I can people watch instead - it's not as good but it does keep me amused and gives me a sense of being closer to the outside, rather than being cooped up in a house.

Find yourself a project
The days can go ever so slowly if you have nothing to keep you busy. And when you have so little energy, it is difficult and downright depressing to try and keep yourself busy with chores and house work.

Therefore I would suggest finding yourself a project to concentrate on. This doesn't have to be a long project - in fact it's probably better if it isn't as your time will be restricted once baby has arrived - but just has to be something that you find interesting and passes the time. For example, I have been giving Photoshop a go and have been doing some random drawings. I hope, if I can improve my skills, the designs I come up with will be something that I can sell on sites like Zazzle or Nuvango therefore bringing in a little bit of money as well!

Check out your local facilities
Finally, this is one that my midwife has been keen for me to do before baby comes. Check out your local facilities for parents and perhaps go along to a couple of them so you know when and where they are once you have the little one and also gain some invaluable information from professionals within the field and other mums.

For example, I hope to be going along to the local breastfeeding cafe next week. Yes, I may feel slightly out of place being the only person there without a baby but it will give me the opportunity to meet all of the mums there and the ladies that run it apparently have lots of useful information on breastfeeding for beginners. That and it is another way for me to get out and about.

So there you have my top ten tips for what to do on your maternity leave. If you have any other suggestions at all, please leave them in the comments below - I would love to hear them!

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