21 fantastic ideas to maximise your maternity leave

21 fantastic ideas to maximise your maternity leave

I used to think that maternity leave was one big, extended holiday.

I pictured strolling round sunny parks and sitting in quaint cafes with my cute-as-a-button baby, not a care in the world. I’d often imagine endless hours in which I’d need nothing but a cup of tea and Netflix to binge on.

That was until I started my own maternity leave and realised that work isn’t just there to make us money. It gives us something to do; a purpose and a meaning to our day. Whether we like it or not, we often get sucked into the structure of our working hours.

Suddenly, I had all this free time and no idea what to do with it. Netflix can only get you so far people.

Of course, there is the infant that you have to raise from sheer newborn helplessness to functioning human. And in my case, she is damn cute-as-a-button.

But for me, with the endless hours of ‘nothing’ to do today, I realised that there had to be more. I needed to know I was still heading in some sort of direction.

While working, I’d always dreamed of having the time to pursue a writing or freelancing career – and shortly after Moo was born, it finally clicked that maternity leave was the perfect opportunity.

I set up this blog, and even though my once ‘free time’ is now filled with to-do lists and a jam-packed email inbox, I feel so much more fulfilled. I’m taking steps towards both mine and my daughter’s future.

21 Fantastic Ideas to Maximise Maternity Leave


So how can I maximise my maternity leave?

I’ve put together 21 fantastic ideas to help you get ahead 0f the game:

1) Learn a new skill

Whether it be a language,Β coding or even juggling, learn something you’ve never had time to before.

2) Take evening classes

If you want a new, shiny qualification under your belt to take back to work (or a new career) try an evening class at your local college.

3) Read more books

Fiction, non-fiction, blogs (not books but totally similar); read for pleasure and to open your mind to new ideas. What you find may surprise you.

4) Listen to podcasts

Again, it’s all about finding different sources of inspiration (and it may be the only human voice you hear all day!).

5) Broaden your horizons

Go somewhere you wouldn’t usually go – even if it’s just a local town you don’t visit much. Getting out regularly to try different things is a great way to remain sane during the early stages of parenting.

6) Start that creative/business idea

When is there ever going to be a better time to start a business than when you have a napping baby?

7) Write a book

If it’s always been a dream, see if you can make it a reality. All you need to do is start.

8) Start a blog

Take a leaf out of my book and express yourself in a blog while learning some amazing new digital skills.

9) Take on challenge

Be it a 5k, half-marathon or raising funds for charity in an original way – do something that pushes you out of your comfort zone.

10) Get your home/personal affairs/finances in order

Take the time to break them down into projects and tackle each one bit by bit.

11) Get fit and healthy

Exercise is a new mum’s best friend. It might not feel like it, but trust me, once you start (and it doesn’t have to be much), you feel so much better!

12) Educate yourself about food

Drop the fad diets and learn about balancing the food you eat. Try new, exciting recipes and learn how to eat healthily for life.

13) Get out of the house

Go to the park, or to town, or just round the block. Getting out of the house as much as possible is a great way to dust off the cobwebs and fire up instant energy.

14) Assess where you are and where you want to be

Take a moment to think about the path you’re currently on and if you need to adjust it to reach your goals. Now is the time to plan how you’re going to do this.

15) Consider a career change

Don’t feel like going back to your day job? Think about what it is you do want to do and find out how to get there. It might not be a quick switch, but taking the first step now will fire up the passion to pursue it.

16) Network at mum & baby events

If you want to get a business off the ground, join a mama tribe, or simply find a friend for coffee, you’ll be treated to all sorts of individuals at mother and baby events. From SAHMs to CEOs – you might meet just who you’ve been looking for.

17) Visit places during the week that are usually too busy at weekends

Think hip cafes, family attractions and historical buildings, to name but a few.

18) Rethink your wardrobe

Whether you’re like me and can’t quite fit into pre-baby clothes yet, or just need a shake-up, spending time updating your wardrobe will have you feeling like a yummy mummy in no time.

19)Β Look after your skin

Try toΒ minimise the make-up on days when you won’t be seeing anyone you know. I go make-up free most days now I’m not at work and my skin has cleared up so much.

20) Create memory scrapbooks

Stick photos and other sentimental items in a scrapbook and fill it with thoughts and stories to read with your little one when they’re old enough. You’ll treasure the memories.

21) Make vision boards

To inspire you to aim toward the life you want to lead with your family. Vision boards will help you maintain focus through the days when all you really want to do is nap in front of TV.

Those are my 21 top tips – if you have any more, I’d love to hear them! Comment below and let me know what I should add to my list πŸ™‚

You Baby Me Mummy



The Tale of Mummyhood





  1. May 12, 2017 / 7:59 pm

    Great ideas, I wish I’d had them when having my first. I really seemed to lose myself by being completely focused on him and forgetting about me #thelistlinky

    • muffintopmummyblog
      May 13, 2017 / 7:56 am

      Thank you – it’s a huge challenge though, some of these are probably a slight stretch when you factor in baby, but it’s worth a shot I guess!

  2. May 13, 2017 / 10:46 am

    I wished I had come across a blog like this when I was on maternity leave. What I did do alot during my “time off” was DIY and crafting, it’s such a nice distraction from the feeding/changing routine. #Blogstravaganza

    • muffintopmummyblog
      May 13, 2017 / 1:44 pm

      I’ve made some attempts… but I haven’t yet got any better at crafting πŸ˜‚ still got some time though!

  3. talkingmums1
    May 13, 2017 / 9:22 pm

    I started my blog whilst on mat leave, now it takes up so much time! It is a perfect time to have a rethink and get things in order x

    • muffintopmummyblog
      May 13, 2017 / 9:44 pm

      Yeah I’ve started while currently on mat leave and I can’t believe how much time it consumes! I have to keep reminding myself that my deadlines are my own πŸ˜‚

  4. May 13, 2017 / 9:24 pm

    Love these – maternity leave kicks off in 13 days for me and I plan on making the most of it. Last time I managed weight loss and a career change, its a great time to re-evaluate.

    • muffintopmummyblog
      May 13, 2017 / 9:45 pm

      Yay! Good luck with it lovely – so great to hear what you achieved last time, I’m not just making this stuff up, woohoo!

  5. May 14, 2017 / 2:45 pm

    Ah I love this! I’m so with you with the Blog idea! I think learning about food is great too, before having children I ate what was convenient, now I cook allsorts! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx

    • muffintopmummyblog
      May 14, 2017 / 3:23 pm

      Thank you 😊 I know there isn’t bags of time, but enough to sort some stuff out if you make it!

  6. May 15, 2017 / 9:07 am

    Totally wasted mine! Maybe I’ll have another baby!! #marvmondays

    • muffintopmummyblog
      May 15, 2017 / 6:57 pm

      πŸ˜‚ totally worth it just to get some reading in!

      • May 15, 2017 / 7:24 pm

        Haha definitely! I used to read a book every few days. 1 this year!!

  7. May 15, 2017 / 12:55 pm

    These are some fab ideas. Maternity leave tends to fly by and not sure I accomplished much apart from keeping the baby alive and establishing my blog!! Thanks for linking for #marvmondays x

    • muffintopmummyblog
      May 15, 2017 / 6:59 pm

      Haha sounds like quite an accomplishment to me! I don’t think the whole list of ideas in one go would work really… unless you outsourced the baby?

  8. May 19, 2017 / 2:00 pm

    I’m currently on maternity leave for the third time but other than blogging wouldn’t have time for any of these! I think this is the preserve of first time mums! #marvmondays

    • muffintopmummyblog
      May 19, 2017 / 4:59 pm

      Very true – can’t imagine working through this and running round after anyone else!

  9. May 21, 2017 / 12:41 am

    Such a great list! Definitely lots on here that I’ve done over the last 12 months. I dont think I’d be sane without my blog!! I’ve also managed to sort my wardrobe, get the finances in order and visit a few places that have been on the list for ages πŸ™‚ Its been a good 12 months, but I have to admit i’m looking forward to getting back to the office now πŸ˜‰ Enjoy the rest of yours! Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Emily

    • muffintopmummyblog
      May 21, 2017 / 11:41 am

      Sounds really productive! I hope I can tick a few more off by the end of the year. Thanks lovely 😊

  10. September 2, 2017 / 7:50 am

    Great ideas! I’ve started a blog, too, and it’s so rewarding πŸ’œ

    • muffintopmummyblog
      September 2, 2017 / 8:09 am

      Thank you! I completely agree 😊

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