It is easy to forget that your child's mood and needs will determine how you can spend your time during your parental leave. Any plans to do up your house, catch up with people at work and tend the garden during your leave may not be first priority. But just enjoying life is a very good idea.
Bonding in peace and quiet
Some days, your baby may never want to leave your arms. It's easy to get frustrated if you have to change your plans for the day. It is often best to stay in your homely surroundings with your new baby for the first couple of months so you have the time to bond with each other and adjust to your new life. If you do have a few visitors, let them bring the cake and make the tea.
Instead of getting frustrated over all the things you can't get done, aim less high and make the most of this precious time together. Make sure you get plenty of rest and grab a nap while baby sleeps. Eat well, relax with a newspaper, book or in front of the TV for a bit when you get the chance.
Make the most of your time with your new baby – it'll be over before you know it
Go for walks, do restful, feel-good things and get some sleep when baby does. Take things as they come. Be spontaneous. Try not to plan too far ahead. Any parent will tell you that the first year or so just flies by.
Meeting other mums and making new friends
Before long, you may be keen to get out and about with the pram. You might be ready to go for a walk or visit a coffee shop with friends. And you may well meet other new mums like you to share things with. Who knows, they might turn out to be your new best friends for life.