6 Ways to Treat Yourself as a Second-Time Mom on Maternity Leave

Image via Flickr/ Howard Ignatius

Bringing home a second baby is as fantastic as it is challenging. As you balance caring for your newborn and your (suddenly very needy) older child you might find yourself wondering exactly why you thought newborns were so hard the first time around. Sure, there are sleepless nights, constant feedings, and an adjustment to juggling the needs of two. But, if you’re a second-time mom, and you’re used to working full time outside the home and taking care of a toddler, the weeks of maternity leave can also serve as a refreshing break from your regular routine. Maternity leave offers a unique opportunity to participate in daytime activities you usually miss out on while you’re at work. And, while the first few weeks might rush by in a haze, do your best to squeeze in a few things you just can’t do when you’re working a regular 9:00-5:00 before you head back to the office.

Check out a matinee

Most parents don’t get out to the movies very often. Tickets are expensive and babysitters are even more expensive. And when you’re at work all day, you often just want to relax at home by the time the weekend rolls around. While you’re on maternity leave, though, you have the opportunity to head to matinee showings every week. Mid-day movies are usually affordable, newborns sleep or nurse through the main feature, and the dark theater doesn’t care if you’ve been wearing your leggings for three days and your shirt is covered in spit-up.

Revel in long lunches

Your regular lunch hour is probably reserved for meetings, errands, or a quick sandwich at your desk. But while you’re on maternity leave you can leverage your open schedule to meet busy friends for lunch, check out the hottest restaurants in town with your partner, or put in some extra time on your side hustle.

Check out weekday moms' groups

As a working mom, you might sometimes feel like you’re missing out on big parts of parenting culture, like local mom group meet-ups or Mommy and Me classes. While you’re on second-time mom maternity leave, take the opportunity to jump into a lifestyle you're unaccustomed to even if it makes you feel a little out of place. Enjoy the swapping of birth stories, stretch yourself at mommy and me yoga, and have fun playing stay-at-home mom. 

{ MORE: These States Just Made History By Passing Paid Family Leave Laws }

SLEEP IN and do nothing but feed the baby and cuddle the baby

When you’re working full time AND “momming” full time your days usually start before the sun comes up and end long, long after it goes down. Take the opportunity that maternity leave presents to spend a few days in bed. Keep your pajamas on, book in hand, babe on boob. Just cuddle, read, and feed your baby all day long.

Enjoy the great outdoors

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When you work full time you’re often unable to get into the wild as much as you might like. And, when you do head to the park on Saturday or Sunday, you might find yourself fighting crows or missing out on the solitude you crave. While you’re home with your baby, don’t hesitate to hike, fish, bird watch, and bike as much as you’re physically able.

Take a trip

While you might usually reserve your paid time off for family vacations and holiday treks to your hometown, maternity leave gives you the option to take an impromptu trip without dipping into your sick days. Hit the road with your tiny baby in tow and let your partner take care of the big kid while you spend time with your college pals or your sister a few states over.  

{ MORE: Mom's Facebook Post Perfectly Nails the Unreal Expectations Society Has of Working Moms }

Enjoy it, second-time mom!

 

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6 Ways to Treat Yourself as a Second-Time Mom on Maternity Leave

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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