*Post in collaboration with Jessica Foreman
Some women are glowing beacons of joy while pregnant, who still have time to do their hair and make up and don’t break out into a sweat when getting off the sofa, while others aren’t so well put together. But, whatever type you are, you both get to experience the same benefits that come with maternity leave! Not sure what these are? Here are a few to look forward to…
Extra cash in the bank
The Government’s got your back when you leave work to care for that squidgy newborn, in fact according to the Money Advice Service you could enjoy a maximum of £139.58 a week, for up to 39 weeks – if you meet all the requirements that is. But still, it’s nothing to grumble at and could really help when you discover you really didn’t stock up on enough nappies for those first couple of weeks.
You get lots of rest
If 45 minutes of sleep a night and nodding off while breastfeeding ten times a day counts as a rest, that is. By day three your eyeballs feel like they’re pushing themselves out of your face, you can’t tell the difference between day and night and your Mum offers to stay round all day with a concerned look on her face and then spends most of her time cleaning the kitchen.
You get to try out new beauty products
Maternity pads that could double up as Barbie doll mattresses are quite the experience when you finally have that new baby in your arms. You feel like you’re constantly sat with a lumpy cushion between your legs, as you also try to get your head around the fact that you now have a tiny fragile human to care for… for the rest of your life.
Your work colleagues will be really understanding
Don’t you dare look at your work emails. Jane from accounts is definitely still sending you messages asking for help because your temporary replacement hasn’t got a clue.
You can spend quality time with your partner
Okay, quality time might be a loose term. Simply because it more than likely involves a tired grunt of hello when they leave for work and an exhausted sigh when they return home, as you pass the baby over to them for a breather. It does get better but those first few weeks you might feel like two distant ships passing in the night, glancing at each other with itchy eyeballs and yawning incessantly as you try to get your little one’s wriggly legs into a babygrow.
You get to see lots of friends and family
While you anxiously watch your Dad twirl the baby round the room and your Mum scrub at their face with a baby wipe, you’ll feel grateful for them being there as it gives you a chance to go have a bath and pretend you don’t have any scary grown up responsibilities for a moment. The added bonus is that they have to make their own cups of tea because you can’t get up while feeding the baby and they’ll probably bring you chocolate to eat.
You smell great
The lingering smell of milk vomit and green poop is one that will live with you forever more. By the end of the day you could be covered and will have a washing basket full of soiled t-shirts and oversized pyjama bottoms.
You won’t need to worry about getting ready
While on maternity leave your makeup bag and hairdryer will probably take a nice break, pack their bags and head off to Hawaii or something as you see no real reason to get dolled up for a day of feeding, weeping and attempting to sleep.
You get to wear pyjamas all day
Not because you’re simply enjoying the luxury of not getting dressed, but because you’re either too tired to or just don’t have time between feeding, nappy changing and brief but beautiful naps.
You’ll catch up on loads of telly
Wait… no you won’t. The baby’s crying again.