1. The magic of multi-tasking.
It turns out it is possible to be a good housekeeper and a hands-on mom at the same time, thanks to baby wraps and carriers. Once I discovered that I could wrap my baby on and do dishes, vacuum, or even fold laundry, my productivity went through the roof. I always felt very accomplished at the end of the day, and I scoffed at the pre-mom-me who used to waste her free time sitting around with her computer in her lap.
2. How to make naptime count.
Once I started being able to predict the normal timing and length of my baby's naps, naptime became sacred. Whether I finally enjoyed my daily cup of hot tea, worked on some household chore that just couldn't be done with baby in tow, or seized the opportunity to exercise, I learned to make every second of naptime count. In fact, I learned to be such an effective time manager over maternity leave, I'm pretty sure I was a better employee when I returned to work because of it.