Making the Most of Maternity Leave: Tracey and Missy


Those early days at home with a baby may occasionally feel interminable, but the reality is that they are very brief. As experienced parents will tell you it’s good to try to enjoy them while they last, because they will be over before you know it. And you will actually miss them when they’re gone. Today I’m showcasing two posts that talk about how to make the most of your maternity leave, as you’re spending the early days with your little one.

Tracey felt that her original post was maybe a little bit pessimistic. She decided to write a follow-up, Honestly there were highlights. In it she talks about the things she did that made her maternity leave great, like taking some time off to travel:

We took 3 weeks in the spring to travel to Germany to visit relatives. It was a bit tough financially (the top-up helped), but felt it was the best time to go when I was on mat leave and before the little guy started to walk. It was a fantastic break from the daily routine. And we had so much fun as a family trekking around with the little man in his ergo carrier.

I am tremendously impressed, I have to tell you. We’ve taken one plane trip when our first child was 15 months old, an hour-long hop to Edmonton. And we haven’t flown again due to trauma. Well done Tracey and family!

Missy is American, and was able to carve out 12 weeks of maternity leave with each of her two babies. As she writes in My Two Maternity Leaves, she made the most of every moment of leave that she got. She shares some memories from her first maternity leave with her son:

That maternity leave began on my son’s birthday, July 30, and lasted right up until Halloween. The weather was perfect for getting out of the house most days and strolling through the neighborhood (with visions of getting my pre-baby body back. ha!). I entertained quite a few visitors (always ask them to bring lunch with them to save me the trouble). I have fond memories of snuggling with my baby, dancing to music with him, rocking him in his rocking chair, and laying outside on a blanket in the back yard looking at the clouds.

Missy also includes some fabulous pointers for moms who will be taking maternity leave. If you will be pumping on your return I also suggest you check our her fabulous post on Breastfeeding: How to pump successfully at work. It’s the best information I have ever read on the subject.

However you choose to spend your maternity leave and however much time you’re able to take, I hope that you’re able to make the most of it while it lasts.

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    1. so true!

    2. Your comment made me laugh, and, yes, flying with little ones is a nightmare. We’ve done five times intecontinentally with the little guys, and it was traumatic every single time (not only beacause of the age of my kids, but also beacause of family unfriendly airline policies, from seats scattered all over the aircraft, to unsuitable movies (x-files on a big screen), to child meals gone missing etc). Sorry, nothing to do with mat leave, which I find so interesting to read. Thank you.

    3. My hat’s completely off to somebody who only got 12 weeks of maternity leave and spent it doing anything other than nursing, crying and eating. I was a big ball of post-partum depression and anxiety and c-section-totalled back muscles when Angus was a newborn, and it is nice to be reminded to look back on the perfect little moments that were in there between all the self-pity and mainlining of chocolate chip cookies.

    4. I took 11 months of maternity leave and it was the first time I was off work for more than 4 weeks since I was 13 years old: I savored every last minute of it.

    5. “always ask them to bring lunch with them” is a great tip for new parents. I will remember to do that myself, and tell my pregnant friends to ask the same!

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