14 things all new mums do while they’re on maternity leave

maternity leave

by Lizzie Catt |
Published on

Are you about to embark on your first ever maternity leave? Not sure how to fill your days?

Being a new mum can be hugely overwhelming, and there are plenty of things you might not have thought to do during your time away from work.

READ MORE | 15 children's TV shows, RANKED

Thankfully, Lizzie Catt has been through it all before - not just once, but twice, so she's practically an expert in how you should be spending your time away from work. Take it away, Lizzie...

Fear not - as a mum-of-two I've got the whole mat leave thing locked down.


CLOSER 14 things all new mums do while they're on maternity leave - STACKED (Do not use - freelance)

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1) Get massively into Homes Under The Hammer

If you weren't into Homes Under The Hammer before you had a baby, you'll soon be addicted. It's all about the tense auction room bidding, grand refurbishment plans, presenters' despairing groans when buyers admit they didn't read 'the legal pack', the thrilling 'whoosh' accompanying each reveal and, most importantly, the genius playlist.

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2) Buy day pyjamas

Babies have a real beef with their mums showering. Some days, you may not get dressed at all - this is absolutely fine; PJs are the uniform of new mums. As such, you deserve the perfect morning-to-afternoon sleepwear, pyjamas that will wow the postman, the health visitor and any other daytime caller with their sheer style.

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3) Sleep during the day

As you're dressed for bed and have probably been up half the night, there's no reason not to nap while everyone else is at work. Your brain may scream, 'But it's 3pm! You should be going for a brisk walk!' at first but you'll soon think nothing of snuggling down on the sofa while your baby's snoozing.

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4) Nurture a TV crush

Every mum on mat leave needs a daytime TV boyfriend, whether it's Ben Shephard, every shirtless male in Summer Bay, Matt Le Blanc as Joey in those never-ending re-runs of Friends (How you doin'?), weatherman Tomasz Schafernaker (yes he's gay but er hello, gym bod), or all of the above.

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5) Try out a new haircut

If you've been secretly hankering to try Katy Perry's pixie crop, Frankie Bridge's new blonde do or even Kristen Stewart's buzz cut, now's your chance. Dye it pink, chop it off, have an undercut, get stuck into the peroxide, there's plenty of time to grow it out before returning to the real world.

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6) Figure out the childcare situation at the leisure centre

You don't actually have to go, but it's good to suss out the crèche at the gym or leisure centre and know that you could go for a swim or a workout if you really needed to. Or, you know, sit in the café eating chips in peace.

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7) Develop an chummy relationship with the local parcel delivery drivers

As soon as these guys figure out you're in during the day, they're going to be double-ding-donging your doorbell every day asking if you can take your next-door neighbours' stuff. Your pay-off is a 35 second conversation about the weather with a real live grown-up without having to leave the house.

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8) Meet up with friends before your baby gets mobile

The prospect of leaving the house with a newborn can be daunting. Once they learn how to crawl, however, any chance of a peaceful-ish meet-up with friends is out the window, replaced by 'play dates' in the park where you'll have to shout at each other from opposite sides of the playground.

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CREDIT: Instagram/ Beyoncu00e9

9) Visit the office

Swanning into work to show off your little one is a sure-fire way to feel like Beyoncé for the day. As with meeting friends, this is a good thing to do before your baby gets moving – wait til after weaning's underway though so you can defuse any meltdowns with rice cakes rather than having to get your boob out in the conference room (again).

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10) Go to the dentist

Pregnancy can play merry hell with your teeth, and the handfuls of cake required to get through the day after a night of broken sleep don't help either. Your NHS maternity exemption certificate is valid during pregnancy and until a year after your baby's due date, so get those pearly whites some TLC while it's gratis.

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11) Watch box sets, the less child-friendly the better

You have one whole year to binge-watch every child-unfriendly series going before Chase, Peppa and Makka Pakka (don't ask, you don't need to know yet) invade your TV and everything you watch during the day has to come with a U certificate.

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12) Go to baby cinema

If you get bored of sitting at home staring at a screen, head out and find your nearest baby cinema so you can do the same thing with other mums and a much bigger telly. Baby cinema is a great way to get out of the house when you're tired – minimum effort required.

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13) Find a baby-friendly comedy club

Daytime comedy gigs for parents and babies are on the rise, with jokes tailored to the grown-ups because, well, a 20 minute set of 'peepo' would get a bit dull. Comedy promoters are finally realising that mums deserve more than warm squash and instant coffee at church hall playgroups.

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CREDIT: Instagram/ Binky Felstead

14) Be awesome to yourself

Maternity leave is time for you, too – to recover from pregnancy and birth, bond with your baby and get your head around being a mum. Treat yourself to whatever makes you happy, whether it's pilates, cakes, pedicures, lie-ins, Tetris marathons or bonkbuster novels. The baby won't mind.

Do you agree with this list? Do you think we've missed anything out? Let us know over on Facebook and Twitter.


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