For most first time mums the final weeks at work can really drag and the prospect of putting your puffy feet up and enjoying maternity leave is a happy one. At the same time it can feel a bit odd - a sort of limbo! It can seem as though you're waiting to go on the strangest holiday ever- exciting, fun, tiring and totally life-changing all at once!
So what's the best thing to do with this valuable free time? Go into overdrive on nesting and make the most of having your hands free to do chores? Or chill out and relax in the knowledge that you'll be busy enough when baby arrives? The truth is that that it's totally up to you - how energetic you feel and what your own interests and hobbies happen to be.
We asked three new mums and busy bloggers how they spent their maternity leave and prepared to boss it as a mum!
"As maternity leave begins, before the baby arrives DO NOT try to be productive at all! Put those feet up, sleep in late, re-watch that box set from the beginning and do not feel guilty for a second! Things are about to get hectic and you deserve this time of calm.
Once the newest love of your life arrives you need to take each day as new, some will definitely be better than others! Meet up with your new mum friends, take part in sensory classes they are as much for you as they are for the baby, accept ALL help offered! You are doing great and things will soon get much easier."
Gemma's adventure as a new mum can be found on her beautiful blog across this page
"I nested like crazy before the baby came - everyone told me to rest as I wouldn't get much sleep once the baby came.
But I was too uncomfortable so I spent my days pulling everything out the cupboards, rearranging things and getting the babies nursery ready. I'm pleased I did it as I've not had time for anything like that since and Violet is nearly 4 months!"
You'll love reading all about baby Violet and life in Brighton on Fizzy Peaches
" Spend a week or two enjoying some 'me-time' before your baby arrives. Go to the spa, read books, watch a box set - whatever you love to do! It's easy to think that maternity leave will be like an extended holiday but your baby will be bound to keep you very busy - so enjoy some downtime beforehand."
Sian writes about her growing family on the fabulous blog Quite Frankly She Said
From our experience maternity leave, however long or short your time at home maybe, is the perfect opportunity to meet up with other prospective mums. These new 'mummy' friends will be a lifeline and your go-to confidantes when baby arrives. Contact your midwife or health visitor for information about local groups you can join. You'll be able to meet up for coffee, hook up for pram walks and along with your family they'll be the people you celebrate your children's milestones with - as well as sounding off about sleepless nights!
In the end, remember that you'll never have this on time our own again (if there's a next time you'll have a sibling to run around after) so spend it doing whatever you enjoy - whether it's nesting or enjoying some well earned me-time!