Once baba’s arrived, hubby’s gone back to work and the fuss is all but over, maternity leave can suddenly feel quite daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.
It can be a fun time. Or maybe a rollercoaster ride with fun included is more apt. But it’s up to you to get out of the house and make that fun, and joining one of the brilliant mom and baby classes there are out there is one way to do that.
There are loads of classes to choose from. They are mostly run by other moms and cater to every stage of your maternity leave and every part of your baby’s developmental journey, from newborns through to pre-school age. But one of the greatest benefits of joining a class is meeting awesome ladies who, like you, are also adapting to becoming a mom.
Here are some words of wisdom we hope will make the classes work for you –
- Choosing a class is like choosing you gynea, it’s a personal choice and you need to shop around. Do some research so you know what you want. It’s sounds crazy, but think about it
for a second, do you want to focus on fine motor skill development, do you rather enjoy music and signing or is a mom and baby exercise class more your thing? I rate the classes I attend or have attended (and believe me there are a lot) on what I get out of it. Seeing Luke’s enjoyment is a primary focus (obviously), but having a class of moms I get on with and can chat to is imperative.
- Life can get pretty hectic when baba arrives, so start your research sneakily at work before you start maternity leave, or on maternity leave prior to the arrival of your little one. Make arrangements, and I mean a proper date, with a class for about 3-4weeks after the due date of your baby, and no matter what stick to it. You will be knackered, you might be nervous, but getting out of the house will do you some good and it will be really worthwhile.
- A lot of classes work on a term basis so you have to sign up for the long haul. Don’t be shy to request a trial session before you sign up, you don’t want to pay for a whole term only to find on the first class it isn’t really what you’re looking for.
- Check if the class you want to attend has a waiting list. Some classes are very popular, so best to get in there early. If you check first you can put your name down to ensure you get a space.
- Once you’re at the class jump in feet first and get fully involved – no half measures. You’ll find yourself singing and dancing to ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ or sitting under a parachute, which is unlikely to be what you had in mind for maternity leave, but once you see how much your little one loves it, you’ll also start to really enjoy it too.
- Tell your friends. Lots of classes work by moms telling other moms about them. Once a class is endorsed by another mom, more moms are likely to attend. So be kind and spread the class love knowing it will benefit that mom. If you get a lot of moms to attend a certain class you might even get that class for free. I know moms that have done that before!
- And finally, help a mamma out. If you’re lucky enough to still be on maternity leave and a good friend has had to return to work, why don’t you consider taking their little one and nanny to a class with you? If you feel comfortable enough driving someone else’s baba that is. I did this for Kate every Monday for our Music4Minis class. They live on my way so picking them up, putting their car seat in my car and then dropping them back didn’t add that much time to my journey. Ethan and Luke loved doing the class together, and Kate and I loved that they could continue spending time together despite her being back at work.
Maternity leave for lots of South African moms is a mere 4 months. It’s crazy if you consider what has to be done in that time. Not only are you adapting to motherhood but just when you think you’ve got things sorted you have to start looking for and training a nanny in preparation for going back to work. This can make maternity leave feel pretty stressful and staying in the safety of your home quite appealing. When, in fact, leaving the comfort of
your home and joining one or more mom and baby class will be one of the best things for your baby and your sanity. But most importantly have fun. This is a really special time in your life, so enjoy it!
If you’ve got a favourite class or you run a class of your own, we’d love to hear about it. Pop it in our What’s On calendar or leave a comment below with their details and we’ll get in touch. If you’d like to know more about the classes we run, take a look at Pop-up & Play and Go Mamma.
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