It took us 16 hours to get to Japan from Singapore! So exhausting. Note to self never do a 5 hour lay-over ever again!
I said this before and I’ll say it again. If you are on maternity leave and have the ability to travel, do it!! It really is easier when your little babe isn’t mobile and/or is exclusively milk/formula fed (although now GG has since started on solids and basically we have to bring double the s*** when we travel now but I digress…)
Anyhow, I was just laying in bed last night thinking about how half of my mat leave has flown by (I took a year off) and was wondering whether I’ve really taken full advantage of my leave and whether I’ve spent some time doing things that are enriching, productive and, well, things that I like doing for me. Of course, mat leave is not a vacation. But what can we do when us girls finally get some downtime for ourselves and when our every waking minute doesn’t revolve around a tiny terrorist (that’s what we call GG: TT).
For me, I curl up in bed with a good book and stay up way past the time I ought to be sleeping at. It’s strange but when I was working, I was always “too busy” to read. Now that I’m a mom and 10x busier than ever, I really really make an effort now to carve out some time for myself. In that vein, I rounded up a list of things to do/try during your mat leave:
READ. Sign up for a library card and borrow all the books you’ve always wanted to read but had “no time” to. For GG’s bedtime feed, I read the book that I’m currently reading to her while I’m breastfeeding her. I generally try not to distract her during feeding times but I think my “reading voice” soothes her to sleep (or bores her to sleep).
LEARN SOMETHING NEW. Take that course or workshop you’ve always wanted to but never did whatever it may be. Let your hubby watch the bebe for a few hours each week while you attend that course! With the holidays here, I’ve always wanted to learn how to make a holiday wreath! If you like that sort of thing, Crown Flora in Toronto organizes holiday wreath workshops!
LISTEN. Josh loves podcasts and got me started on one! Since he is an entrepreneur (and I guess so am I now) we both love listening to “How I Built it” by Guy Raz.
WATCH. Does binge watching tv shows count as something enriching to do for yourself during mat leave? YOU BET. We’re currently watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (you’re welcome).
VOLUNTEER. This may sound counter intuitive. You’re already giving 200% of yourself to your newborn, the last thing you want to do is to give more of yourself and of your time to someone else but hear me out! If you find something you’re really passionate about you’ll want to volunteer and the work you do soon becomes an extension of yourself and your own personal satisfaction. Also, there’s many ways of volunteering. You could help out at the grassroots level or you could share your expertise and experience at the executive level. I volunteered as a director on a number of Touch Rugby organizations in Toronto/Canada and also as a Designated Representative with the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada for many years and would have continued to do so if not for starting Sprout. If you speak a second language, the IRB needs YOU to aid vulnerable immigrants and refugees navigate the complex system of laws in Canada. If you’re interested, click here to find out more.
CREATE. And finally… start that business you’ve always thought about! It’s not easy and you’d be pretty nuts if you did but there’s no better time to do it while you’re off from work! Trust me !