Budget ideas for maternity leave with a toddler and baby

Today I became acutely aware that soon I will be at home seven days a week with two little people who will both need entertaining in very different ways, especially my three year old bundle of energy. It also dawned on me that this maternity leave will be very different from the first in terms of finances. So it got me thinking on how I could make the most of my time off with my girls ensuring that we went out every day and do a variety of different things but without breaking the bank.

Here is my plan which is open to change and suggestions…(please!)

Things that are free

  • Day trips to the beach. Little Miss can build sand castles and run around the beach for hours. I figure I can get a sun shade tent thingy for baby and we can all spend a day a week having a picnic and playing in the sand.
  • The park. Southampton is blessed with so many open spaces and parks that we can easily try a different park every week. Any ideas on the best ones people?
  • The garden. We have requested our tomato seeds from the Heinz Ketchup campaign to get us started so Little Miss and I are going to start our own mini veggie patch in our back yard. Hopefully she will put her slight OCD about getting dirty hands to one side and get involved…
  • The library. Friday at our local library has story and rhyme time. We will be there – and the groaning book case in Little Miss’s room means borrowing is much more preferential (and cost effective) than buying.
  • Friends. On my first maternity leave I soon realized that friends were my life line. We were all in the same boat of wanting (needing!) grown up conversation and stuff to do during the day. Sitting at home with only a newborn baby to talk to can very quickly make you go a little loopy. This time round I will also have a toddler who needs entertaining and energy to burn off. Liz – you may never see the back of me!

Days out

‘Posh’ days out are going to have to be saved for treats. Friends may preach the values of the Paulton’s Park pass at me but I am sorry, nearly £200 for me and the girl is just criminal. She will only go on half of the rides and I will be holding a baby so I cannot justify it however lovely it would be.

Does anyone have any other tips for annual passes in and around Hampshire that will show real value for money and can be enjoyed by all the family?

Classes

Baby yoga, sensory, water babes etc etc etc – the list really does go on… Which one do I choose for me and Bubs when Little Miss is at pre-school? Suggestions please?

Rainy days

OMGA! What to do on rainy days?! I am happy to let her have the odd half hour of Peppa Pig or Ben & Holly but a whole day in front of the TV when it rains is never going to happen. I do not have a creative bone in my body in terms of arts & crafts and therefore need help…!

Baking we can do. But she has a limited attention span so therefore cannot understand that cakes are not ready to eat the second we have finished mixing the batter. I am thinking I might make a batch of cupcakes the evening before so she can just decorate them and then scoff them!

Once again please send rainy day ideas my way?

What else is there? How did you fill your days on maternity leave? Or what are you planning on doing?

During my maternity leave I will be doing a day-by-day diary to see if these ideas work out or fall flat. Either way I am going to give it a go…

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