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Structuring a second maternity leave(6 Posts)
I am currently 23 weeks pregnant with DS2. I have got DS1, 2.10. He goes to nursery 5 days a week and will continue going for at least 3 days a week when I am on maternity leave (we have no guarantee we would get his days back if we cut it down further).
My thoughts are turning to my next lot of maternity leave. I am deeply unhappy in my current job, and I want to use this time to explore other options. But I am also thinking about the social side.
In my first leave, I was a social butterfly! Regular meetups of NCT antenatal and postnatal groups, Baby Yoga, Baby Swimming, you name it, I did it all! And I loved it! Add to this that DS1 was an easy baby (good sleeper, good eater, generally just chilled) and it was the best 8 months of my life. Despite all the activity, I still got lots of cuddle time as he just loved lying on my chest for a snooze (but I was able to put him down if I needed to).
Obviously, I don't know yet how DS2 will turn out (I hope similar in terms of sleep and cuddliness). Generally, things will be a bit different as I won't be able to have a relaxed morning... DS1 will have to be taken to nursery, and to take the pressure of DH (long commute), I'll try to do the majority of pickups as well and do dinner.
So the question is: how to fill the hours inbetween? I am thinking of limiting myself to one outing a day rather than the two I often had with DS1. However, having been home with DS1 due to chickenpox for a week during which I hardly spoke to a soul during the day, I know I'll need some adult interaction.
I don't necessarily want to do NCT though... the refresher classes all run during the day, and I am not particularly keen to take leave for them. Are there any other refresher antenatal groups you can recommend? Generally, any other ideas?
It depends on your area, in mine NCT isn't a thing, most people do the evening antenatal classes, and there is pretty decent Sure Start provision locally.
I'm going to be in a very similar situation, and in addition to what you've said I'm wondering what to do with the two of them on the days DD1 not in nursery. All my NCT group are back at work and I've been rubbish at making friends at playgroups. I'm thinking I need to hunt down similarly pregnant women in my local area, somehow make friends and then we can have playdates round each other's houses! So, no answers I'm afraid but hoping for tips too...
Good luck, and send tips if you find helpful ones! I'm pregnant with no 3, and the other 2 will be 6 and a half and 4 when the sibling comes along.
With my 1st maternity leave I didn't know a soul, and my attempts at meeting other like-minded mothers with baby activities failed dismally. I was very lucky to meet a bunch of fabulous mothers at my daughter's first playgroup, and a number of us were pregnant around the same time with our 2nd children. Most of my mother friends are working mothers, and most of them have closed shop with 2 kids.
I'm also wondering how to meet local & like-minded mums 3rd time around.
If your eldest is at nursery then on those days it will be much like your first mat leave (depending on your nurseries hours). My son did 4 days (8-6 if I wanted but more like 8:40-5). On those days DD and I did Gymboree, swimming etc. She's was an amazing sleeper so I spent the first couple of months in cafes reading or catching up with friends! I found the day I had DS too tricky from about 8 weeks in as DD was awake a lot more. There was a 3.5 year difference between them but at soft play he wanted me to go round with him, which wasn't possible. I tried to get lots of play dates in.
Now PG with #3 and really panicking as there will be 23 months between DD and this one - which seems scarily close to me. She's currently in nursery 4 days but may well cut down after the first few months.
I have joined a local facebook group which is an offshoot of my local mums group page for people who are due around the same time. Bit like a DIY NCT group!
Three of my NCT group from first pregnancy haven't gone back to work as well so will try to do things with them a bit more.
I also found some activities led more to meeting people than others, swimming I chat to the mums but it is swimming only, sing and sign we get together a lot more outside of the class.
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