So it’s the 12th July 2016, I have booked holidays from work so my maternity leave starts early, we have just finished renovating our new house and I have three weeks until my due date, maternity leave has well and truly kicked off and nesting has begun. Well that is until the next day……… I went into labour three weeks early!?!?! – The nice relaxing start to my maternity leave that I’d hoped for has abruptly come to an end!!
The next week goes by and I’m in a bit of a daze with my partner being off and having an abundance of visitors and trying to somehow take care of this new little human. Then the real side to maternity leave kicks in, my partners back in work, the visitors have slowly but surely come to end and the days/weeks are starting to fade into one. I needed to gain some sanity and also try and reclaim at least some of my pre-baby body back.
We booked a holiday for the following May to attend a wedding in Cyprus and I wasn’t ready to be a mum who wears a costume on holiday, I was 27 and felt I still wanted to be able to wear a bikini and feel at least half comfortable. Having put on nearly three stone during pregnancy, I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy feat but what better way to have the chance to shift some baby weight than during my maternity leave. I started off by going on long walks as I was lucky enough to have a summer baby so the weather was nice enough to do so, but at the beginning of November, like a gift from god I found Sweaty Mama. My son is a very active baby so having him in a sling whilst I worked out was just the best thing for both of us, it kept him entertained but I was slowly but surely shifting the pounds. I then decided I needed to step it up a little and seen as I have always been someone who has enjoyed food, I wasn’t willing to change my diet too much but instead I started to attend two classes a week, I started now see a massive difference to my body but I still had the goal of being ‘beach body ready’ so I then started to do a third class on a Saturday morning, this did clash with my sons nap time however this was never a problem, he slept happily in the sling or car seat whilst I used the weights that the Instructor brought along, on the days where my partner wasn’t working I even went alone to the classes which was not a problem. Bootcamp started shortly afterwards so this made my maternity leave even better because I then had one night a week when I had some baby free time, me and my friend did this together so it was our weekly catch up, night out and get fit time all rolled into one – perfect combination.
As May came around, I had my suitcase packed (bikinis included and not one swimming costume in sight) and we were ready to go! Like most mums I don’t actually have that much photo evidence of even being on holiday as all the pictures are of my son and partner because he is renowned for not thinking to take any pictures of me with my son – except the selfies that I got and the below two pictures.
In short, Sweaty Mama kept me sane during my Maternity leave and also help me get most of my confidence back, the irony is I worked my butt of (quite literally) but my weight stayed the same even though I dropped three dress sizes! It really was true for me that you shouldn’t go off what you weigh but how you feel! I definitely made the most of my maternity leave and then at the end of it I left my old job and started to work at the place that got me back into shape!
Maternity leave – you were a success!!