Why Maternity Leave Can Be Your Biggest Joy And Biggest Challenge

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Going on maternity leave is something that can transform your life. All of a sudden, you have ample time away from work to be with your newborn child and enjoy the time you have to spend with them. But at the same time, it is also one of life’s biggest challenges. You’re out of your routine, and you don’t know what you need to do to get back into it!

In this post, we look at some of the joys of maternity, leave, the challenges, and what you can do to make the experience as positive as possible. Here’s everything you need to know: 

The Joys Of Maternity Leave

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Mothers instinctively know the joys of maternity leave. But what specifically is great about it? 

The Family Bonding

The first part of maternity leave that’s great is the family bonding. Being together with your newborn, partner helps you draw closer together and engage more with each other.

This bonding isn’t by chance, either: it’s something that’s biologically driven. Hormones get released that make you closer to your child and the people around you, helping you stick together for life. 

The Learning

At the same time, you’re also learning about the ups and downs of parenthood. Some aspects of it are incredible, and others are downright exhausting. It’s a real mix. 

But what most parents say is that having children is rewarding. It’s one of life’s most important and critical events and something that makes everything worthwhile. 

The Time Off From Work

Finally, maternity leave gives you something you don’t normally get: extended time out from work. Many countries allow you to take months off, something that you wouldn’t normally get in the course of an entire career. 

This time off from work can be substantial and change your outlook on life. It can also alter how you look at your family setup, the amount of time you spend in the office, and what you do with your spare time. It changes everything. 

The Challenges

Of course, parenthood also comes with challenges. 

Losing Your Routine

Perhaps the biggest (and unexpected) shock to the system is the loss of routine. When you don’t have to go to work, the whole day revolves around the changing needs of your newborn. And they don’t keep time. 

Feeling Your Identity Change

At the same time, some parents feel their identity changing, especially if it is their first child. Suddenly, you stop being the young professional you once were and become something else. 

Feeling Alone

You can also feel alone when raising a child. Cutting yourself off from colleagues and friends to take care of a family changes your social life. You can’t just go out whenever you feel like it when you need to care for a child. 

The Exhaustion

Finally, there’s the exhaustion. Even if you’re not at work, looking after a child is notoriously challenging. It takes grit and determination to get right (and that’s not always possible). 

Children don’t develop a body clock until after six months, which means you never quite know when they’re going to go to sleep or wake up. Most of the time, you’re just guessing. That means you’re much more likely to be woken up in the middle of the night. In turn, this can knock you out for the next day, making you feel jet-lagged. 

The Solutions

It’s not all bad news, though. There are plenty of things parents can do to turn maternity leave into a joyful experience. 

Use Devices To Make Life Easier

One option is to use modern technology to make your life easier. This option is great for people who love gadgets. 

For example, you could use a single electric breast pump if you’re having nipple pain. These devices extract natural breast milk comfortably, saving your skin from teething babies. You can also add white noise devices to your newborn’s bedroom to help them sleep or use a baby monitor so you’re not having to check on them all the time. 

Stay Connected

During maternity leave, it also helps to stay in touch with friends and family. Keeping in contact with people reminds you that you’re not alone. The more you can reach out to people, the more likely you will thrive. Don’t feel like you have to do everything alone. 

Maintain Your Sense Of Self

Finally, it can help to maintain your sense of self. Staying true to who you are can make maternity leave more manageable, even if everything else in life changes. 

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