I loved being on maternity leave. Don’t get me wrong, it was a lot of work trying to keep that new human alive. It’s not a vacation, but it’s a special time spent bonding with your new little squish and creating a life and routine that works for you. It also could provide an opportunity to spend some time doing things your old life (ahem, work) would have gotten in the way of before.
The possibilities probably aren’t endless, though. I get it: no matter how much planning you do, being off of work for a couple months doesn’t allow for a lot of extra play money. You just have to get creative!
Here are 9 free or cheap activities for you to do during maternity leave:
- Walk – We walked a lot. Sam came home from the NICU in early September and it was perfect weather to walk outside. It’s so nice to get out of the house and feel like a human who doesn’t always have another human attached to you… even though you do.
- Visit your local museum – Our museum in town is free to residents. It’s like taking the walk to another level: you’re out of the house, you’re around other people, and you’re learning something too. Sounds like a good way to kill two hours between feedings.
- Draw/write/create – This is something I didn’t do, but I really wish I had. Take some time to create for yourself during maternity leave. Write a story or journal about your day. Draw your dreams or crochet a hat.
- Go to the library – The library is a great place for new mommies to go! I find libraries to be comforting and relaxing, which is just what a new mommy needs. You can read to babe or find a book for you to read while you’re feeding babe.
- Find a local mom group – The library might be able to help with this, too: they often have weekly reading sessions for different ages. You can also type in “moms group” and then your city on Google and see what pops up!
- Learn a new skill – Take this time to learn something new! Pick up knitting, learn a new language, finally nail down your baking skills.
- Call a friend – Maternity leave often feels lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. Pick up the phone and call or Facetime a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while – you’ve got the time to catch up!
- Pamper yourself – Put on a face mask while baby is snoozing. Take a bubble bath. Paint your nails. Give yourself a makeover! You deserve it, momma!
- Sleep – This is probably the most important one on the list. You have every right to sleep when the baby sleeps. For real. The laundry can wait. The dishes can wait. You can order take out or ask a sweet friend to bring you a meal. You have the immensely important task of keeping your new tiny human alive. That’s a lot of work. Take a nap. Take three naps! It’s okay, momma, you’ve earned it.
What else can I add to this list? What free or cheap activity did you enjoy on maternity leave?