Taking Maternity Leave? Plan Ahead

I have a few friends who are pregnant with their first child, and I’ve often joked that a newborn would be so easy, if only you knew what you were doing. For most of us, maternity leave was a bit of a blur. I was fortunate to take four months off with both of my kids. Men might consider this time off work a “vacation,” but we moms know better. It is a break from the office, but you are working just as hard, if not harder.

Maternity leave with Clay came unexpectedly – he was born five weeks early, and I was working at home when I started having contractions. I had planned on going into the office later that afternoon to interview candidates to cover my maternity leave. My first interview was scheduled for 2:00 p.m. At 11:30 a.m. I realized that wasn’t going to happen and by 4:00 p.m., I had a newborn.

Thinking about my friends who are about to start maternity leave, the biggest piece of advice I have is to plan ahead. You don’t know when your baby will arrive. You may be so sleep deprived that you forget to pay your mortgage. You may need help if you have multiples or a fussy baby. You won’t have time to clean your house or cook dinner.

The more you can set up in advance, the better off you’ll be. You won’t be stressed, and you’ll be able to spend time enjoying your baby. Or napping. Or eating dessert because breastfeeding gives you a terrible sweet tooth.

You all know I’m a planner, but since everyone says your first baby “is never early,” I didn’t feel the need to do everything weeks in advance. I learned my lesson though and with Avery my replacement started before I even left work. The nursery was ready, her clothes were washed and the car seat base was installed in the car.

To save your sanity, plan ahead, so you’ll be ready for the baby and your time off work. Then, sit back, relax and enjoy the silence. It won’t last long 🙂

For other great tips on planning for and making the most of your maternity leave, check out this blog post on CreditCardInsider.com. And if you have any tips of your own, leave them in the comments!




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