You’ve probably spent long hours contemplating your return to work after maternity leave ends.
The first emotion you’ll probably experience is guilt about leaving your baby, or perhaps guilt about looking forward to going back to work. Either way, you’ve just spent weeks focusing solely on your baby. After maternity leave ends, you’ll have to juggle so much more than just feedings, diapers, and naps.
The 10 tips below are tried and tested for new moms planning to go back to work. The best part is they come from a mother of two boys, aged 3 years and 15 months respectively, who also works for a Fortune 500 company.
1. Check in at work a few days or weeks before you have to go back.
It’s easy for women to disconnect entirely while on maternity leave.
Others check their emails, return phone calls or simply pass by the office every so often. At least a week before you are due to go back to work, check in at the office, discuss expectations of your return or possibilities for a lighter workload.
2. Practice your schedule.
Wake up when you should, take a shower, and get dressed. Pump breast milk, mix formula, drop your child off at daycare or with the nanny. Go do something for 8 hours. When you get home, practice your evening routine.
3. Take a day for yourself.
For one full day while you’re practicing your work schedule (see the tip above), occupy yourself with something, even if it’s just watching a whole season of “Breaking Bad” or feeding ducks at the park. There’s no turning back once you get back to work so enjoy this day of freedom.
4. Enjoy your first day.
Going back to work after maternity leave may help you feel a little bit like your old self again instead of an overwhelmed, milk-making, diaper-changing machine.
5. Don’t put pictures up.
This is particularly for moms who are experiencing separation anxiety. Consider holding off on hanging pics all over your cubicle/office. They will only make you miss your baby more.
6. Buy some new clothes.
I know you love those comfy, elastic pants but it’s time to let go – at least when you’re at work. Chances are your old clothes won’t fit or feel great just yet. Get some new clothes. They will increase the feeling of “new you” and help you feel more confident. So go ahead and buy some new bras my virtual friends (and don’t forget some nursing pads to soak up any leaks)!
7. Outsource whenever possible.
You will need time to adjust. If you’re lucky enough to have friends and family close to you, let them be as helpful as possible during this period. If not, pay for any services that you can. Weekly cleaning services, grocery shopping, errand running, etc. You will need the extra time.
You’ll get in the groove of things eventually.
8. Get your man ready.
You need as much support as you can get. It always helps when your partner is on your side and is willing to fill in when you have work commitments.
9. Focus on the positive.
After maternity leave, don’t go to the dark side and continuously worry at the office about what you are missing out on with your kids. Instead, focus on providing for them and making an impact with your career. When you’re home, focus on the time with your kids and leave your work behind.
Pray for your sanity, for your baby’s safety, and for the ability to cope with your new schedule.
Finally, if possible, let your first day back at work be during the middle of the week. Trust that a full, 40-hour week will be too much of a shock to your system after a few months of maternity leave.
Good luck, Momma! You can do this!
Find out when you should go on maternity leave.
First published at www.mylifeandkids.com.
Featured image source: www.illuminatecareercoaching.co.uk