4 Tips for Surviving Maternity Leave

by Shauna Cole

As Canadian Moms we’re so fortunate to have the option of spending up to 18 months at home with our sweet little bundles of joy.  Those months are filled with nothing but wonder and magic as we watch our sweet little babies change and grow. I’m so kidding.  Mostly those months can be filled with sleeplessness, stress, fear and tears.

The transition to motherhood can be pretty tough.  Especially if you’re a solid type A personality like myself.  I’ve got to admit the early months with each of my sons have been nothing less than brutal.  I don’t do well with chaos and like routine.  On top of this, the sleep deprivation caused me to walk into walls, cry at the mall because I couldn’t remember where I parked and order a Tim Horton’s coffee at the Subway drive thru.

I look back at my first maternity leave and wonder how on earth I survived.  In the midst of trying to keep my tiny new human alive, I was also striving to get some version of myself back and figure out how to maneuver the world with a baby and all his gear.

My first maternity leave was a whole lot scarier than my current one.  The first time around I had some crazy expectations about how things would go with baby sleep, how our new family would adjust and how my postpartum body would magically return to its pre-baby state.  My second time around I still consider myself to be a bit of a rookie compared to those moms facing the perils of teenagers.  But I think I’m a bit wiser now because my first son, Jayden broke me.   I mean taught me some valuable life lessons.  For example:  how to deal with diaper blowouts in public and how to neatly barf in a display at the Home Depot.

Beyond the lessons of these sweet memories, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to survive maternity leave (well, sort of..).    Here are a few of those lessons.

1.  You Need a More Experienced Mom Friend

Going to the Dollarama for the first time with baby in his car seat?  Not sure if the car seat fits the Dollarama carts?  Call your second time Mom friend.  She’ll know.  (Car seats don’t fit Dollarama carts, by the way).

Where’s the best place to park uptown with a stroller?  What floors in Brunswick Square are accessible?  How do I get from Market Square from Brunswick Square with a stroller? My baby has a runny nose.  Should I go to the Doctor?So many details….

So many questions and, believe it or not, you can’t find all the answers on Google.  Always start with your more experienced Mom friend.  She’s the ultimate resource.  Even better if you have a couple!

The reasons I survived my first maternity leave 🙂  #awesomemoms #missthemthistime

Mom Friends
2.  You Gotta Get a Hobby

Sex and the CityBy hobby I mean something you can do while feeding a baby, or while half asleep.  The hobby should not require any level of mental alertness.  So I guess by hobby I mean commit to a TV series or list of movies.  I spent a couple of months pre-baby adding series to my Netflix list and checking out what other kinds of content was available.  My first maternity leave I watched the complete X-Files series – in like 4 months – 10 seasons.  Resist the urge to judge me.

I’m currently on Season 5 of Sex and the City.  It’s important to have goals.

3.  Join the Network of Moms Group on Facebook

Created by Michelle Lefrancois, Network of Moms an online support network for moms to connect with other local Grand Bay, Saint John, Quispamsis and anywhere in between moms. It’s a place where we can ask questions (child related or not) and lean on other moms for support and encouragement. Even if you’re not comfortable asking questions in such a public forum, you’re sure to find a post or two that’s relevant to your mom life.

4.  When in Doubt, Call Your Mom

Enough said….  You’re still alive, right!
Have a good morning day 🙂




ShaunaColeI’m Shauna.  My boys and I live on the beautiful East Coast of Canada in Saint John, New Brunswick. I’m a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR), with a Master’s Degree in Business (MBA) and Undergraduate Degree in Communications (BA). Follow me if you want some insight into the mysterious world of Human Resources, organizing tips, my point of view on life with boys and how it all comes together to create – Shauna At Home.  You can also follow me on Instagram @shaunaathome.

    • Kristen
    • July 13, 2017

    So true! And I think first time moms need to be forgiving of themselves and take time for self care! Mom-ing is hard and we need to sometimes be reminded that it’s okay to take some time for ourselves and that no one is perfect.

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