You're tired, you're bored and you think you might smell. It's all good. Coping with the endless feedings, diaper changes and sleep struggles of a newborn is like nothing else you've ever done. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. Instead of resenting your sloppy postpartum wardrobe and feelings of disconnect, embrace them. Celebrate them! This could be the only time in your entire life you get a pass on the daily grind of the grown-up world. Before you know it, work and school will be all-consuming and you may never again have an entire Wednesday to kill at the mall.
Here are the top 10 things you get to rock during your mat leave...
I remember staying home sick as a teenager and finally having our only TV all to myself. That was my first taste of daytime TV, the epitome of guilty pleasures. Soaps and talk shows and cheesy reruns, oh my! This is the reason babies have naps. Indulge.
Read more: The debate: Should you let your toddler watch TV?>
There's a reason brunch is so insanely popular. It means hot coffee, the ultimate comfort food and the promise of an entire day ahead of you. On the weekends, it also means line ups, crowds and long waits for eggs — which makes it less than ideal for babies. Luckily, you don't have to go into an office every day. So beat the crowds by finding an all-day breakfast joint to enjoy with another new mom.
Read more: 5 recipes to sweeten up your brunch>
So you've pulled on the same pair of sweatpants every morning this week. So what? Anyone who tries to tell you it's time to get yourself together and develop some sort of post-baby style can go jump in a lake. This is your post-baby style! We spend our entire lives beholden to the fashion industry; but, for a few short months after having a baby, you get a pass. Live it up.
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There are days when you would give your left arm for ten minutes of peace in which to have a shower. But as often as not, you're probably fine to just skip a day. Give your hair and skin a break from drying soaps and shampoos, and relish the fact that your baby doesn’t care how greasy your hair gets.Photo: iStockphoto
I was years ahead of the curve during my first mat leave, rocking the messy-bun look on the regular. But, lucky you! You get to be right on trend. Pile your hair (clean or otherwise) on top of your head to keep it out of baby's grubby reach, and pull off that laid-back chic look while you're at it.
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Long walks are a hallmark of the mat leave set. Taking your strolls inside the mall on cold winter days is especially fun. Sticking to window shopping on account of your still-changing body will help keep your spending in check, too. Although, shopper beware: You can still do quite a bit of damage buying things for the baby and the home. Ahem.Photo: iStockphoto
Let's face it, you've got time to spare — but babies like to be on the move! Mid-day grocery shopping is fun, productive and keeps baby entertained. I enjoyed shopping nearly every day on my mat leave. Of course, cooking all that food was a different story.Photo: iStockphoto
Make an effort to connect with other new parents in your community, for sure. But remember, there's also a whole internet full of parents to commiserate with. Some will be going through the same things you are, and some will just be fantastic storytellers. You're going to dwell on your baby anyway, so you might as well do it in good company.
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One of the best things about babies is that they have no staying power in the mornings. Sure, they get up at the crack of dawn to eat and play and soil a diaper, but then they nod off again an hour later. Put down that coffee pot! This was my favourite time of day to nap because I could pretend I was sleeping in. Who needs to get dressed before noon anyway?
Read more: Insomnia: How new moms can cope>
There has never been a better time to be sitting on the couch dealing with cluster feeding all evening and then back on the couch at 2 a.m. for the night shift. Among services like Netflix, PVRs and DVD sets, it's easy to watch a series from beginning to end. Move over, bad movies and Rotato infomercials, and make room for Mad Men, Homeland and Orange is the New Black.Photo: iStockphoto
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Not sure if your family’s complete yet? Here are 10 telltale signs you’re probably done having kids.
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