During maternity leave I lived in the newborn bubble, leaving only to do what was necessary. This period of managing the bare minimum was a bit of a shock to my system, since I grew up with the habits of a functioning member of society; doing things like leaving my house more than once or twice a week, showering, and staying in touch with other human beings. Switching up these habits taught me that there are things you only get away with on maternity leave.
Other moms may take a different approach, but willingly deserting those routines I had become so accustomed to was nothing short of refreshing, necessary, and slightly unnerving. I can't think of any other two (more or less) month period that contains so much emotion, so much crying, so much cuteness, and so much poop. Not to mention the undeniable fact that there’s an intense period of healing required, too (at least, there was for me).
There can be a steep learning curve to baby care, yes, but there’s also so many feelings and transitions and changes to process that seemed to fill my leave to the brim, even though from the outside I was mostly hanging out with my baby and with my partner (who was on summer break). Here’s a sampling of things I did then that I probably wouldn’t get away with under most circumstances: