What to do when you only have one month of maternity leave left 

I am feeling sorry for myself. I only have one month of maternity leave left. It seems impossible that eight months has passed. I am sure time just accelerates when you become a parent. There were things that I thought I would do such as decluttering the house … which I’ve not got to. Craft projects that are still very much in my head and big blog and business plans which are still not where I hoped they would be. Saying all that I want to make the most of my last month away from the corporate game. I also want to utilise the time so that my return is as smooth as possible … so here’s my list!

1. Start nursery or childcare – well obviously but we have three settle sessions and four full days booked in before I actually start work. Kipper is a mummy’s boy and will likely struggle so it’s best to bite the bullet and do it. Despite wanting to ignore the fact that it’s coming and put it off for as long as possible. I am confident in my childcare choices as they are the same we had with Monkey. If you are not then do what you can to rectify that before you go back to work. Even if that means finding a new provider. We changed with Monkey twice before we settled and it was a stressful upheaval both times.

2. Milk – we are lucky as Kipper will take a bottle but there’s many a baby out there who won’t. Once back at work my plan is to try and keep the morning feed (around 6am) and evening feed (around 7pm) going. Although sometimes that won’t be possible with my working hours. The rest of the time he needs to have formula. It’s so convenient to stick him on the boob during the day but before he goes to childcare I am going to need to get those bottle feeds sorted. It will be less of an upheaval for him and I am hoping will make the transition easier for me with significantly less sore boobs!

3. Bed and routine – I’ve been pretty lazy on this, he’s still in our room. Partly because it’s so much easier to feed him back to sleep. And partly because I also enjoy having those morning baby cuddles. The nursery is ready, the new mattress brought, all I need to do is physically move him. The same with nap times he falls asleep anywhere but never in his cot. I tried for the first time today to put him down to sleep in his cot for his nap, rather than cuddling him or boob feeding him. It was not the success I had hoped it would be. He did drop off after fifteen minutes of controlled crying, but then only slept for twenty minutes. However it is a start and hopefully it will improve each day! At least I have a month to crack it.

4. Projects – I need to prioritise which projects are most important to me. I need to finish various craft projects but there’s no way I am going to get them all done. I was in exactly the same position with Monkey and felt frustrated when I went back because I had an emotional commitment to getting them finished as many were DIY toys. I want to avoid that this time round so I am limiting myself to a couple of things only.

5. Time for me – initially when I go back to work I will want to spend my non work time with the boys. So before I go back I will be having a couple of pampering sessions and a couple of girly get togethers.

6. Plan things to look forward to – weekends away, our Summer holiday and day trips. We are having an NCT party for Kipper and the other babies, Kippers cake smash is all booked in. I’ve already started to think about Monkeys birthday too. I’ve also made some alterations to activities I do with the boys such as swimming. To give us as much time as possible at the weekends, moving things from the middle of the day to the mornings. And where possible that the activities for both happen at the same time.

7. Get school holiday cover – I think we are covered for half term and Easter but I want to do some research into Summer clubs and get Monkey on the list for them. It will be the first year we need to have cover for him so I want to make sure we choose things he will enjoy and I am happy with.

8. Sort out home management – there’s things I want to get organised so my life’s easier such as planning a week of meals in advance and ordering food via click and collect. Obvious really but since we both will picking up a child in the evenings it’s going to make dashing to the shops harder. I may even try out the slow cooker in perpetration !! I am creating a home hub with a planner and a place for actionable paperwork, tickets invited etc. So we shouldn’t be scrambling around for homework deadlines etc.

9. Plans for my day off – as Kipper gets older I want to have a bucket list of activities inside and outside that we can participate in. Pinterest will suddenly become my best friend again, although I will be looking for easily replicable tasks!

10. Have lots of cuddles… yes it’s hard leaving the baby. He’s likely to be my last one, so I can’t tell myself it will be okay I’ll be off again with them again soon. So I need to stock up on those baby cuddles now. Don’t get pulled into doing lots of favours for people focus on your time with your baby. Time is a commodity you now don’t have a lot of, use it the way you want to and not the way others want you to!

Going back to work from maternity leave can feel like a ticking time bomb. I definitely felt this way on the run up to my return first time round. However saying that I did find that I actually had more time during my day. Working mums are the most efficient people I know. It’s amazing what they can squeeze into a 24 hour period espically when they get a little head space, the chance to have a hot coffee and pee break alone. I am looking forward to using my brain again and getting my teeth stuck into the job I know and love. I am also looking forward to planning the adventures I am going to have with my boys (all three of them). Just remember when one door shuts another one opens – JUMP.

Linking up with #DreamTeam and #TwinklyTuesday 

20 Comments

  1. Louise | Squished Blueberries

    You are so organised. I remember going back after I had Mabel and I was terrified because I had this 8 month old baby who still breastfed all the time, was rocked to sleep, slept in our bed. I thought she’d never cope at nursery but she actually adapted really well. Enjoy your last month lovely xx

  2. Mrs C

    Looks like you’ve thought through everything! I’m in complete denial that I’m back to work this year. Just need to stay in this bubble a little longer then I’ll face reality! Fab post xx #twinklytuesday

  3. Mess and Merlot

    Can’t believe you’re back to work so soon – a perfect list I think and I’m sure you’ll be fine once you do go back and get into the swing of it again x #DreamTeam

  4. Angela Watling

    You’re so right about the end of maternity leave being something that looms over you. But it sounds like you’re definitely going to make the most of it. And you’re so right about the cuddles… Hope you enjoy every minute and all the best for your return to the corporate world! #DreamTeam

  5. Emma

    I have just gone back to work myself (this is the first week) and we are just getting used to it! Luckily my husband is at home so we didn’t need to sort out childcare – I think I would have really struggled with that one. Enjoy your month and good luck when you go back! X

  6. Mrs Mummy Harris

    I went back to work on Monday and luckily it didnt seem to be too much of a shock to the system. I was really worried at first, but the first day I loved not peeing infront of a baby and having hot coffee whenever i wanted!!
    I wanted the last month to be all blog planning, spending time with family and mentally preparing for time away from Ben. Instead I spent 3 of them weeks looking after Ben who had the Norovirus – 2 A&E trips included and getting the bug myself, so not only did blog not get as organised as I wanted, but I ended up buying things i needed for work only 2 days before I started!
    You will be fine, try to look forward to it cos then I think it’ll put a positive spin on it rather than concentrating on missing your little one! #Twinklytuesday

  7. Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons

    I can’t believe 8 months have gone by so quickly, I remember so clearly when you were just getting ready to start your mat leave! Best of luck with the return to work. I know I definitely felt the ticking time bomb – there were so many things I’d wanted to accomplish on maternity leave and so many of those never got done. I love your plan to squeeze in a bit of pampering for you too – a girly spa day or something along those lines sounds lovely! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  8. Laura - dear bear and beany

    I can’t believe it is nearly over, I am sure you’ve just had kipper!!! You are so organised and this is a great list, I’m pleased there are some things for you to do on your own, as this time is so important. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  9. Lisa (mummascribbles)

    Oh man – my maternity leave is going so bloody fast it’s scary. I just know it’ll be a flash and I’ll be where you are. I need to find another job quick fast! Reading this is so refreshing though, I have a boob monster, only sleeps near me baby on my hands!

  10. Annette, 3 Little Buttons

    Awww, it’s that time already. Good luck with getting back into the swing of things at work. Your bucket list is great and packed full of things that are so going to benefit you when you are back to work. I agree that when one door closes, another opens wide and is waiting for you. Thanks so much for joining us for the #DreamTeam xxx

  11. Susie at This Is Me Now

    You sound totally on top of it all! I’m sure you’ll be fine, you sound very organised. I did then same and had the settle in sessions and then a day of nursery the week before I went back. I hated it but she was my first… I also fed morning and night but in those first few weeks when she was ill every week I would end up feeding her for comfort in the afternoon, usually after picking her up from nursery or the doctors – but she was a sickly child! Enjoy your last month xx #SharingtheBlogLove

  12. Louise - Mummy Miller

    Good luck getting sorted, I’m in exactly the same position, I go back at the end of Feb and I’m starting to feel quite nervous. I’m sure Oliver will be fine but it’s such a big change. Currently he will only sleep if I’m with him so I need to crack this before I go back otherwise I will feel sorry for the childminder! #SharingtheBlogLove

  13. Dave - Dad's Turn

    It’s really tough going back to work and it’s good to plan how you can carry on the good stuff when you’re not with the little ones all day every day. Our little bear’s started nursery now, although he still sleeps with us as we can’t see a good reason to change yet (he likes the exta comfort with the change of nursery I think). This is a good list!

  14. Tooting Mama

    Wow and you have achieved so much in your maternity leave. I like the idea of a home hub but I am way too disorganised for that! The me time is a great idea as is the looking forward to holidays. Best of luck with the return to work!

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