Tag Archives: maternity leave

Batch cooking (kindof)


One of the things that I was told to do on maternity leave was BATCH COOKING. The idea is that you cook extra meals and stick them in the freezer so you have something easy and ready when baby arrives and you’re too busy and tired to cook.

Our freezer is pretty full already (it’s only small), mostly full of Pies from Simon’s Pies Yum yum.


However, rather than purposefully batch cooking, I’ve made a couple of extra big meals which I’ve frozen the leftovers of.

On top of that, my parents have an apple tree which overfloweth currently with appley goodness. In fact they are sick of apples and can’t get rid of them quick enough. I’m trading some with friends, but I spent the last couple of days stewing over 7kg of apples and some locally picked blackberries too!

First lot with blackberries
2013-09-04 13.13.46

2013-09-04 19.12.05
Done! Lovely apples and blackberries stewed with about a pint or two of water and a bit of sugar.

2013-09-04 19.11.57
The second lot (with massive wooden spoon and hand for perspective).

Technically these were actually second and third lot as I did some last week too.

These apples are really yummy with some natural yoghurt, and I might also blend them with raspberries and fruit juice to make smoothies!


Maternity leave and cheeky Mortgage lenders


Another day of maternity leave complete, and another few tasks done!

It’s been pretty warm today so I repotted a plant in the front garden (to replace the current dead plants- I am not green fingered) and strimmed the back jungle lawn. Took quite a long time and was very tiring so I had lots of breaks. Maltloaf and tea break was the best!

I’ve written a shopping list of things to buy for the not-quite-a-baby-shower tomorrow and cycled to the library to get some new books. I stopped at a supermarket on the way back to grab some cake making ingredients and spent part the afternoon listening to classic FM and making cupcakes.

I’m not much of a baker but these look pretty good. One set of chocolate and one set of orange and almond.

Husband got out of work early as they are moving to a new site over the weekend so he headed off into the sunshine on his mountain bike. Sadly the chain snapped when he’d almost finished the trails so he came home with a very sore knee. After a cuddle with the cat, he felt a bit better. We are now both hobbling about!

We are also (rockandroll) changing over to a new mortgage provider with the help of our brilliant Financial Advisor Jeff. Annoyingly the mortgage company wouldn’t accept the screen shot of online banking statement as proof of salary (which is weird as they also have our last 3 pay slips each) but did use it to deduce that I’m pregnant (three payments to Mothercare online) and wanted to know more.

The Citizens Advice Bureau say:

A mortgage lender doesn’t have to give you a mortgage. However, they must not refuse to lend you a mortgage, or treat you less favourably than other people, simply because you are pregnant.

If the mortgage lender has turned down your application because of your pregnancy, this is likely to be discrimination and could be unlawful. Get advice from an experienced adviser about what to do.

So we can but give them the information and hope that they abide by the law.

Having done some dull maths- when we first took out a mortgage at a very high rate, when we both earned less, we were paying 33% of our combined post-tax salaries into the mortgage. With the new rate (much lower) and taking into account JUST my husbands salary- we’ll be paying just 25% of his post-tax earnings towards the mortgage. So really they’d be idiots to turn us down!


Maternity leave days 2 & 3 & 4


And a weekend away!

One of the bits of advice we decided to take from friends was “get away for a last hurrah holiday before the baby arrives”. Sound advice we thought! So this weekend was spent celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary and a last weekend away for just the two of us. We went to Nutfield Priory Hotel and Spa in Surrey which was wonderful. Swanky setting, lovely cuisine, great service and a spa day on Sunday to chill us out. It was just what we both needed- having not really had a holiday this year (visits to family and weekends away to weddings and hen do’s don’t count!).
Us at Nutfield

We got back on the Bank Holiday Monday which was nice too!

Day 2 of Maternity leave I met some nice ladies from Mumsnet for a cuppa and cake, and I did a little shopping (and exploring local bus routes I’ve not used before). Also took a bit of time to do some general tidying and sorting which needed doing. Day 3 involved more tidying and sorting (lots to do), a vet trip and a midwife visit and then picking blackberries with a friend. Day 4 is today and I’ve had a bit of a slow start as I’m not feeling my best today. I’ve had a bit of a sore throat for a few days and been feeling very dehydrated. I’m off now to meet a yoga mummy friend who had her baby 4 weeks ago!

We’re having our baby shower at the weekend (which to be fair is more of a get together with friends) and I’m really looking forwards to it. Just need to do some planning and some tidying! We have wine and a vague list of food to buy but not much else! I need to get onto it this afternoon!

Maternity Leave Day 1


So I finished work yesterday… that was a terrifying experience! I didn’t really know what to do with myself, I was walking in circles like a dog trying to find his bone… and was sent home!

Today I have:
-had a little lie in
-washed up
-had a friend visit to borrow a bike and go for a cycle (I showed him the route to the forest for his ride, so have done a quick 4 miles on the bike too)
-done some life admin (tried to pay for my kitchen but it wouldn’t go through)
-entered a photography competition
-watched two episodes of something embarrassingly trashy on Lovefilm

I plan to:
-start to tidy the front garden
-pack for my weekend away!




One thing that really frustrates me is the “elite club of being a parent”. It’s entirely possible that I will change my mind in a few weeks when baby D arrives, but I will be trying my hardest not to be come a bitter, scoffing I-know-best-because-I’m-a-mummy kind of person. I’m imagine you have to be a certain kind of person to start with to turn out like that, but there seems to be more of them in the parenting world than anywhere else.

To give an example that’s been getting on my nerves recently- I’ve been trying to write a list of things that I can possibly do when I’m on maternity leave. This is not me naively thinking that I’ve got 3 weeks at full energy and health to redesign the garden, move furniture and get a six-pack in 21 days…. it’s a list of ideas to keep me ticking over when I feel bored.

I get bored easily. I am an active person who enjoys fresh air, exercise, learning something new, photography, cooking, seeing friends and generally being busy.

A usual week pre pregnancy would have involved a full working week (37.5 ish hours, plus a lot of travel and commute time), cycling for between 1-6 hours for leisure/commute etc, walking for a couple of hours, a yoga class, dinner out with friends, a.n.other hobby etc etc. I’m not a “slouch in front of a DVD box set” kind of person, though I enjoy a bit of telly or a film at the weekends.

So it’s clear that my maternity leave is not going to involve me taking long leisurely showers and watching daytime tv!

It doesn’t matter how many times I insist that “doing nothing” is not for me, someone always tried to tell me that I should just spend my maternity leave watching telly and sleeping.

This only adds insult to injury because I’m not sleeping very well at all (as per my last post).

My maternity can do list currently looks like this:

1. Hypnobirthing CD
2. Library
3. Swim/walk/cycle/yoga
4. Paint touch up
5. Cook & Freeze post-baby-arrival food
6. Photography
7. Learn something
8. Art
9. Bump & Babies groups
10 .Pack second hospital bag (Extra clothes etc depending on how long I’m in)
11. Work out how to use Angelcare Monitor

Some other good suggestions have been to sort out paperwork and finances, pre-ordering online shopping, pre-planning birthday gifts and Christmas gifts.

These are all things that I can do if I fancy- but all the key pre-baby jobs are done. If I do fancy sleeping and watching telly… I don’t need to plan for that I’m sure it will just happen!

Catching up again


The good news is that the car arrived in time for the wedding trip oop north (phew!). It arrived just over 24 hours before we needed it (and just 264 hours after we were promised it…..). We now have a baby car seat permanently in the back! Eek!

Another lovely wedding- during which pregnancy hormones (and genuine emotion) got the better of me again! Damn not having enough time to recover from first sighting of the beautiful bride before having to do a reading! We managed to do a lot of relaxing on our trip (people keep lecturing me about “slowing down”- though I fear most of them are judging me by their own standards rather than what my body is used to….)- including spending about 3 hours on Saturday afternoon in bed watching the athletics. It was great (and was after walking 3.5 miles to/from/around the lovely York)- guilt free relaxation!

I now have 1 week left at work *gulp* and it’s very scary!

Baby room is finished (hurrah!) and looks a little like this:

Basically very yellow and green and orange! All the good colours!

Managed to cycle to and from pregnancy yoga last night and still enjoying being on the bike at 35 weeks pregnant. I’ve not noticed any balance issues- and it’s only really fitness that holds me back.

Despite being pregnant, I’ve managed 179 hours of exercise so far this year (and we’re 266 days in according to day counter)- which means I’ve managed more than 30 minutes exercise a day on average 🙂

Still no babies from the September 2013 mumsnet thread- though I believe that may change by the end of today! My colleague has had a lovely little boy called Harry and one of my yoga friends had a little girl called Holly! Both lovely names, and I’m very excited for them!

That’s a bit of a random update- hope all my blog followers and readers are well!

12 days


I now have 12 days left at work….

12 days!

So I need to know- what does one do on maternity leave?

I aim to do one “active” thing a day- short cycle, walk or swim at the local pool, and I will also aim to see friends for tea and scones where I can (although I’m still working on meeting more mummies and mummies-to-be who will be off work when I am). There are lots of little tiny jobs around the house (filing, painting window frames etc) which I may feel like doing too. But sort of that I have no idea how I will fill my time.


I am trying very hard not to be worried about getting our car back in time for the next wedding trip. We have a 500mile plus round trip to do in 5 days time, and our car is not ready. The garage are waiting for some parts after the crash I had a couple of weeks ago, and we were supposed to get our car back a week ago. Our courtesy car is a 1L Peugeot 107, and I’m not sure we’ll fit everything in. We’ll need our suitcases for 4 nights away, including smart things for the wedding, the hospital bag with all the baby things, the car seat and pram base and the cat in his basket, the litter tray etc as he is going for a cat holiday at my parents. There is pretty much no way that will all fit in the car with the two of us, so I’m getting a bit worried!