Whether you end up with several days or even weeks before you finally meet your baby, now is the time to be selfish, indulgent and frankly, a bit lazy – because you've come this far and you've really earned the right to enjoy this final little chapter.

For me, this time has been all about thinking of things that I wouldn't normally have the time or inclination to do around work; things that help me prepare for being a mother, things that make me happy, things that I probably will struggle to do {very often or not at all} on the flip side of growing a bump. I've tried to not include really obvious maternity leave activities like packing your hospital bag and cleaning the house because, er obvs you will be doing all of that anyway...

1. Make lunch plans.

Especially before the bitter end, when you daren't leave the house because it feels like the baby might fall out at any time.

"Revel in the fun of leaving the house with just your handbag – and being able to finish a meal without having to whack a boob out half way through" said a wise friend.

2. SPA it up.

A decent pregnancy massage is essential. This is quite nice to do a day or two after you finish work, when your back is shot from slouching at a desk and you need to uncoil any final stresses.

Ditto to nail pampering – especially pedicures. My, oh my, was that a lovely treat after months of painting my toes like I was blind drunk.

3. CTFO.

Never was there a greater excuse to Chill the F*ck Out in whichever way takes your fancy.

Have a duvet day on the sofa with dog.

Switch off your phone/social media and lose yourself in a good book or your favourite music.

Meditate in the garden.

Do yoga. 

"Soak up every drop of uninterrupted peace while you can." – so everyone with children has told me. 

4. Craft some things.

Personally knitting has always been something I am very shit at {and my sisters and mum are really good at - see exhibit a and exhibit bhowever I think I have found my inner knitter at last.

The midwife at our 36 week appointment advised that babies really need a woolly hat on straight after they are born, "they get very cold, even in summer" she quipped – so me being me {i.e. reading this as some kind of challenge sent from the motherhood gods}, felt compelled to try and make one.

A bit of patience and a couple of YouTube tutorials later and I now have two little hats to pop on baby when he or she enters the world.

On a similar note, I have also got into embroidery and stitched a little design of the 20 week baby scan onto a hoop to go in the nursery. 

So, some kind of productive crafting is another good way to while away some time – very pleasing, very relaxing and you'll wind up feeling like a total creative earth mother type by the end of it.

5. Prep changing/feeding stations for around the house.

Time for a super practical one.

Initially I imagined having a stash of nappies and changing gubbins probably in the nursery and in our bedroom, until someone pointed out to me that I was unlikely to be spending my entire life in bed/upstairs and that actually having changing supplies in the lounge would be essential.

I kept some small wicker baskets from our old hallway storage shelves so these are now packed with nappies, wipes, cotton wool etc. I have also made up two lots of breastfeeding supplies – one to live by our bed and the other to go near the armchair downstairs – complete with muslins, breast pads, nipple cream, snack bars and lip balm. 

Clearly I could muddle through without these but they are there, prepared, done for dog tired/totes emoshe/flustered as hell Ceels or Adam to make use of.

6. Become a crazy plant lady.

No srsly.

I was talking to my new Instagram pal Elle from Bamaluz Home about my newfound desire to paint the house white and lol fill it with plants  – she experienced the same thing when pregnant with her son and ended up building a whole {amazing} creative business from it!

When you're whiling away the days awaiting the baby, if you dare and are able to manage a waddle out, venture to your local garden centre and see what prettiness you can find to add to your home. I have been stocking up on succulents, aloe vera and cacti as well as ferns and trailing plants. There's something about an abundance of greenery and nature that makes your home feel fresher.

7. Get gardening.

Similarly to 6, if it's the right time of year, get outside and give your garden, yard or window boxes some love. This isn't about heavy digging or major landscaping {!}, but some nice light jobs that will keep you moving and active to the end. Plant some seeds, make up some little tubs or troughs or design a new planting scheme for a little corner of your yard/patio.

I'm excited to harvest all the winter veggies I've got going, which should be ready by the time our baby is close to weaning – how rewarding will it be to try them on some homegrown mashed squash?!

8. Cook a freezer full of meals.

It's amazing what delicious things you can stow away in a freezer with a bit of preparation. Clearly when there's a baby snuggled into your shoulder 24/7 I imagine the idea of cooking anything beyond a slice of toast might be impossible, in which case the need to batch cook becomes a jolly good way to look after your future self. 

I've done a bunch of fish pies, chillies, bolognese and my favourite pasta dish –as well as buying in some totally can't be arsed frozen options like good quality sausages, some posh fish cakes and our favourite ready made pizzas. 

9. Write.

In your pregnancy journal.

A letter to your baby {for him or her to read when they are older}. 

Thank you cards for any gifts you've received pre-baby.

A blog about your experiences.

A list of your hopes and fears for the next chapter in your life. 

10. Boss the life admin.

Bills to pay? Annoying insurance to sort out? Dog need worming? List of important phone numbers needed for hospital/your partner?

Ticking those really dull life admin bits and bobs off the list has felt good, as well as preparing ahead – our online shop is all set up now for the next month or so, so that I'm not stressing about having no bog roll or strawberry jam!

What did you do with the days leading up to your baby's birth? I'd love to hear your tips and ideas!

Ceels x