5 Things to Do at Home to Fight Maternity Leave Boredom
Once the hardest part of bringing a newborn home is over and you finally are in the groove of things and baby has somewhat of a predictable schedule (this may take anywhere from 1-3 months, maybe more), you find yourself having a little more free time (I use that term lightly) here and there at home.
You’ve ventured out into public with baby and have learned that it’s manageable and not so scary after all, and that you can do it! Now, the activities you used to take for granted that you now fantasize about doing seem a little more within reach. However, let’s just be honest. You don’t always have the energy or motivation to actually leave the house. Plus, going out for hours at a time can throw off baby’s schedule and sometimes leave you with a cranky baby at the end of the day. You still want to find something to do other than watch TV or chores, but you don’t necessarily want to leave the house.
I’ve always been a creative person. For me, sitting at home while baby is napping and just watching Netflix or browsing Pinterest is not exactly fulfilling. I need a creative outlet in some way, shape or form. While on maternity leave, I’ve enjoyed a few different things that have given me that outlet when I’m not napping at the same time as baby. I’ve fully intended to make the most out of my maternity leave, and that means making it a “vacation” at any opportunity I can!
1. Cooking or baking.
Ok, I know I just said that browsing Pinterest is unfulfilling, but it can be fulfilling if you actually act on your pins and do some of the stuff you had planned to do sometime, someday, in the future….which is why you pinned it, right?
Cooking and baking are excellent ways to be productive and creative, and are activities that can be completed in time before baby wakes up, depending on the length of baby’s nap of course. Not to mention, you get to enjoy the product!
I personally prefer baking over cooking because I love sweets, baking is generally pretty easy if you follow a simple recipe, and you can always save it for later for a snack or dessert! I’m not always in the mood for chicken parmesan, but I am always in the mood for a cookie! 😉 I also usually have the ingredients already at home, so I don’t have to go to the store in order to complete my project. It’s something I can do right then and there. Baking items usually doesn’t take too long either. A simple cookie can take about 10 minutes to bake, and voila! Done. Here is my go-to simple chocolate chip cookie recipe in both vegan and non-vegan versions!
2. DIY or Craft Projects.
DIY or craft projects can be another great creative outlet! This might take a little more prep as you may have to go to a craft or hardware store first, but if it’s something you really want to do and not so spur of the moment like baking might be, definitely go for it! There are some really simple projects you can do. If you’re artistic, do some watercolors to frame and put up in your home! Disclaimer: these did take me a few hours to complete and I did this before baby was here, but it can totally be done if you have a separate space to do it in! I like watercolors because they’re not messy like oil paints and you can get beautiful results!
Get creative in 3D and make a cute little succulent pot out of some clay! This one took me a while as I put all the seeds on one by one out of clay and then painted it after I baked it in the oven, but again, totally possible at home – pick a design that you might be able to do in one sitting or two. I loved this one as it brought back memories of playing with Play-Doh or clay as a kid!
3. Try your hand at plant/flower arranging – in your backyard!
This one is pretty fun and easy if you’ve got some greenery around your yard. It’s a great way to be creative, appreciate your backyard up close, and decorate your home for free!
Be sure to not overlook even the tiniest plants as those can add cute and subtle detail. Get as many varying colors and textures as you can, and use things like vines, twigs or even dead or dying leaves in your little arrangements! Here are some small arrangements if you could even call them that that I made a while back out of boredom. You could even go so far as to photograph them, and print them out to hang on your wall as art.
4. Write down the little things.
I can’t even remember the little details of when Makoa was a newborn or even 1 or 2 month old! Luckily I have all the photos and videos I took at the time to look back on now. I can’t believe how fast it all happened, and how different he is at only 3 and a half months old! It’s insane.
Now looking back, I wish I had written a little more about some of the little things he used to do. When he was really small, he would make this hilariously cute chipmunk noise whenever he stretched after waking from a nap. I totally forgot about it until I was looking through videos of him at that age. While the photos and video are great, writing it all down to read later would be so amazing. I know I won’t remember everything which makes me a little sad, but if I can hold onto a little more by writing it down now while I’m living it, I’m sure I’ll appreciate it later.
Write it down on paper, type it into your phone (back it up!), or blog with photos and video and all. Keeping the memories of the little things I know will be so rewarding later on.
5. Go on walks.
This one might seem kind of obvious, but going on a walk around your neighborhood with baby can be really relaxing. Of course, waiting for the right time is key to it being relaxing. Wait until baby is in the right mood to be put in the carrier or the stroller. Wait until the sun isn’t intense. If it’s a hot day, don’t go out until it’s cooled off.
Going on walks can also be a great way to get a fresh view on your neighborhood if you’ve never really walked around! I take the dog with us as it’s a great way for her to exercise and check things out as well. Dogs need to get out of the house too!
Whatever it is, find ways to enjoy and take care of yourself while on leave! It doesn’t have to be all work!