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Less ‘bla’ more ‘raa’ – maternity leave tips with a little more bite.

1
I was having a look around for inspirational quotes to fill up the @BaB_Courses Instagram page.  They’re a sure fire way to get likes and follows as I grow this tiny toddler of a business into something more.

So I typed “top 10 things to do on maternity leave,” into the trusted Google. What I found, though, felt decidedly ’bla.’  I wasn’t sure what I was expecting but:

Meet up with mummy friends for coffee – bla
Get a regular massage – bla
Enjoy clothes shopping during the quiet of the week – bla bla and triple bla

This

SelfishMother.com
2
advice seems to miss the fact that maternity leave and having a baby triggers something pretty life altering inside us.  We are f-ing tigress warriors – with the f-ing stripes to prove it! Yes a coffee is nice but we run the world here!

During my first months as a new parent (say 1 – 6 months) I was a horrible mess.  Not in the cutesy baby bubble way but full blown, not getting washed, unable to get out of bed, depression.  Issues with feeling a failure and much more going on.  This happens to lots of us – get help if this is you right now – I

SelfishMother.com
3
went to a lot of support groups during that time and it was the only thing that got me through.

By that 6th month I was better mentally which helped me physically.  But the whole experience left me a new person.  I knew I was very very different.  Its nearly 8 years since that life changing year and I’ve spoken to A LOT of women on maternity leave and gone through it again myself.  Here’s a “RAA” list of embracing the time with a new you.

Go Baby Friendly! – I want someone to create a Baby Friendly logo.  Yes UNICEF have this wrapped

SelfishMother.com
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up, but I’m talking about adult focus where kids are welcome.  There is a whole new wave of these from our very own Bring a Baby Courses for Adults where you can learn a new skill without the guilt of being separated from your child, to Baby Friendly Cinema.  Got to give a big shout out to BYOB Comedy too (love you guys).  The new sports classes are awesome with Pilates, yoga, SlingSwing and buggy fitness to name a few. Meeting up with people where the topic isn’t necessarily babies is really good for your soul.  You can find the Bring a Baby
SelfishMother.com
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Courses here and Google the rest.
Go on a life adventure – so so jealous of the new parents who’ve rocked this one.  They rented or sub-let their homes on AirBnB and took off (sticking their bits and bobs in the loft or storage) – living frugally they managed to either travel wide or just rent somewhere away.  If you can make this work financially – do it!  There will never be another opportunity like it!  Check out @travelmadmum on Instagram but don’t feel you have to go that wild – I know folks who’ve rented a place in Spain for a month –
SelfishMother.com
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each to their own financially viable adventure.
Find a mentor – I’ve written before about how important my Mumentor is, but maternity leave can also be about growing the new you.  If you have a business idea, find someone who you can talk to about it.  Same goes for going back to work or writing a novel or changing career.  There are some fab online networking groups out there but beware the gurus – those proclaiming to have it all but are hidden behind a wall of glossy social media airbrushed fakery.  Find someone local and supportive who is
SelfishMother.com
7
willing to give you the time.  A great place to start is actually your Local Council.  They often run new start up mentorships, know about local writing groups and have careers advisors.  Ohh and take baby with you!  Meeting a mentor isn’t a business transaction its a meeting of the minds – your baby is part of that mind!  Any mentor who has trouble with that, isn’t the right mentor for you.
Embrace the staycation sprit – I had the FEAR of being on a train with a screaming baby.  Hot sweaty fear!  But after the first couple of times you get
SelfishMother.com
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the knack.  Practice feeding in public if you’re using your boobs, get a sling and take off.  Visit the museums, the parks, the attractions you’ve not been to for years.  This is a chance for you to be a tourist on your own terms.  If you’re lacking confidence in public feeding definitely start with your local breastfeeding groups.  These are non judgy places where you can practice in a safe environment.  To get sling confident (seriously until you have to use a buggy on public transport – avoid like the plague)  google your areas sling
SelfishMother.com
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library where sling devotees will help you and turn you into a Sling Master.

So those are my best tips but I’d love to hear from fellow Tigresses – what are your tips for making maternity leave roar for you?

 

SelfishMother.com
Helen Wall

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- 25 Mar 18

I was having a look around for inspirational quotes to fill up the @BaB_Courses Instagram page.  They’re a sure fire way to get likes and follows as I grow this tiny toddler of a business into something more.

So I typed “top 10 things to do on maternity leave,” into the trusted Google. What I found, though, felt decidedly ‘bla.’  I wasn’t sure what I was expecting but:

  • Meet up with mummy friends for coffee – bla
  • Get a regular massage – bla
  • Enjoy clothes shopping during the quiet of the week – bla bla and triple bla

This advice seems to miss the fact that maternity leave and having a baby triggers something pretty life altering inside us.  We are f-ing tigress warriors – with the f-ing stripes to prove it! Yes a coffee is nice but we run the world here!

During my first months as a new parent (say 1 – 6 months) I was a horrible mess.  Not in the cutesy baby bubble way but full blown, not getting washed, unable to get out of bed, depression.  Issues with feeling a failure and much more going on.  This happens to lots of us – get help if this is you right now – I went to a lot of support groups during that time and it was the only thing that got me through.

By that 6th month I was better mentally which helped me physically.  But the whole experience left me a new person.  I knew I was very very different.  Its nearly 8 years since that life changing year and I’ve spoken to A LOT of women on maternity leave and gone through it again myself.  Here’s a “RAA” list of embracing the time with a new you.

  • Go Baby Friendly! – I want someone to create a Baby Friendly logo.  Yes UNICEF have this wrapped up, but I’m talking about adult focus where kids are welcome.  There is a whole new wave of these from our very own Bring a Baby Courses for Adults where you can learn a new skill without the guilt of being separated from your child, to Baby Friendly Cinema.  Got to give a big shout out to BYOB Comedy too (love you guys).  The new sports classes are awesome with Pilates, yoga, SlingSwing and buggy fitness to name a few. Meeting up with people where the topic isn’t necessarily babies is really good for your soul.  You can find the Bring a Baby Courses here and Google the rest.
  • Go on a life adventure – so so jealous of the new parents who’ve rocked this one.  They rented or sub-let their homes on AirBnB and took off (sticking their bits and bobs in the loft or storage) – living frugally they managed to either travel wide or just rent somewhere away.  If you can make this work financially – do it!  There will never be another opportunity like it!  Check out @travelmadmum on Instagram but don’t feel you have to go that wild – I know folks who’ve rented a place in Spain for a month – each to their own financially viable adventure.
  • Find a mentor – I’ve written before about how important my Mumentor is, but maternity leave can also be about growing the new you.  If you have a business idea, find someone who you can talk to about it.  Same goes for going back to work or writing a novel or changing career.  There are some fab online networking groups out there but beware the gurus – those proclaiming to have it all but are hidden behind a wall of glossy social media airbrushed fakery.  Find someone local and supportive who is willing to give you the time.  A great place to start is actually your Local Council.  They often run new start up mentorships, know about local writing groups and have careers advisors.  Ohh and take baby with you!  Meeting a mentor isn’t a business transaction its a meeting of the minds – your baby is part of that mind!  Any mentor who has trouble with that, isn’t the right mentor for you.
  • Embrace the staycation sprit – I had the FEAR of being on a train with a screaming baby.  Hot sweaty fear!  But after the first couple of times you get the knack.  Practice feeding in public if you’re using your boobs, get a sling and take off.  Visit the museums, the parks, the attractions you’ve not been to for years.  This is a chance for you to be a tourist on your own terms.  If you’re lacking confidence in public feeding definitely start with your local breastfeeding groups.  These are non judgy places where you can practice in a safe environment.  To get sling confident (seriously until you have to use a buggy on public transport – avoid like the plague)  google your areas sling library where sling devotees will help you and turn you into a Sling Master.

So those are my best tips but I’d love to hear from fellow Tigresses – what are your tips for making maternity leave roar for you?

 

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Helen Wall

I'm a mum to two rambunctious boys. Since I had my first in 2010 I've worked full time, part time, compressed hours, from home and freelance. You name it I've tried it and if you know the secret to 'balance' please share! I founded www.BaB-Courses.co.uk in 2017 as an opportunity for parents to access something for themselves without having to be separated from their children. We provided classes in everything from photography to mindfulness. Our aim is that you learn a new skill, meet likeminded parents and still be with your children. We're just starting out and would love to hear people's thoughts xxx

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