You never thought that going back to work would be this difficult, did you? Now that the time approaches, you are filled with dread and apprehension. You are not alone. The very thought of leaving their little one behind can fill new mothers with anxiety.
A little bit of this overwhelming emotion can be due to the crashing pregnancy hormones in your body. But you can thank your momma instinct as the primary reason for why you feel so low. But you can go back to work after maternity leave without getting a panic attack! Sounds improbable? Try the tips we have listed for you here and make the transition easier – both for you and for your little one!
Here are the tips to make your returning to work after maternity leave easier:
1. Find Trustworthy Childcare:
This is the big one. You can start on it even before your child is born. Finding childcare you can trust is half the battle won. If you have a family member to look after your baby, you are lucky. If not, look for a daycare. Do your research and check out the daycare before you put your trust in them. If you can afford it, try a nanny. Don’t forget to check references.
2. Make Breastfeeding Plans:
If you are considering breastfeeding after returning to work from maternity leave, tell your employers. You’ll need a clean area for breast pumping. And start practicing a week or two before you go back to work so that you can get your baby on a new breastfeeding schedule.
3. Stock Up:
Before you head back to work, make sure to stock up on a few essentials! Here’s all you’ll need:
- A Breast Pump: You’ll need a good breast pump! So, do your research and pick one that you are most comfortable with. And don’t forget to buy a nice bag to carry your pump!
- Nursing Pads: You have a few already? Well, pick a few more! When you are out working, the last thing you need is a breast milk stained dress!
- Your Baby’s Photo: There is one thing we can assure you about going back to work – you’ll miss your baby, A LOT! So, you can carry your baby’s picture with you to work. You can take a framed photo and give it a place of honor at your desk. Or if you don’t want a constant reminder, just keep one in your computer!
- Healthy Snacks: When you are at home with your baby, the pantry and fridge are always around. So whenever you want to snack on something, you can easily do so. That will change when you go back to work. When you are hopping from meeting to meeting, it is very easy to forget about eating healthily. That is why you need to stock up on healthy snacks.
4. Ask For Flexibility:
Talk to your employer before returning from maternity leave. You can do this before you give birth too. If possible, ask for flexible timings, work-from-home options, or working part time.
5. Set A Date:
If possible, go back to work in the middle of the week. A shorter workweek will be a great way to ease back into work.
Make a to-do list, according to their priority. If something can be done later, put it on the backburner.
7. Learn To Say No:
When it comes to setting priorities and boundaries, you need to say No many times. Make it a habit. It will come handy when your child throws a tantrum as a toddler!
7. Don’t Change Childcare:
Try and stick with a childcare provider. It takes time for your baby to adjust to someone new. So, don’t force her to bond with a new person every month or so. It is also important that you develop a good relation with your childcare provider. Keep discussing your baby and ask about her progress.
8. Give Your Baby Quality Time:
Started going back to work after maternity leave, don’t take work home, if you can. The time you are home, devote it to your baby. Everything else can wait.
9. Have A Plan B:
Sometimes, the best-laid plans can unravel. It is possible that your baby falls ill and cannot make it to the day care. Or your nanny or family is ill and cannot look after your baby for a day. Have a backup plan for such situations. A friend, family, or a babysitter can be helpful.
[ Read: How To Choose A Good Babysitter ]
10. Work As A Team:
You and your partner are in this parenting thing together. So, work as a team. Don’t hesitate to ask for help, it will not make you any less of a mother.
11. Plan Your Menu:
Food is a huge issue for working moms. Do they spend the time home cooking or should they try bonding with their baby? The solution is a cooking plan. Maybe you can cook in bulk on Sundays and freeze them. If you can devote some time during the weekends to cooking, you will get ample time with your baby during weekdays. You can also swap cooking duty with your partner on certain days so that both of you can bond with the baby.
12. Look Your Best:
You may have to buy a new wardrobe! Under no condition should you attempt to fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes- that a great recipe for disaster! Don’t go trying to stuff yourself into your pre-pregnancy clothes. Pick up some new clothes that will flatter your new body. You can also go for a haircut. Now will be a great time to try a new hairstyle! And while you are at it, get a facial, manicure, and pedicure too!
13. Sleep, You’ll Need It:
Once you return to work after maternity leave, you’ll truly understand what exhaustion feels like. Juggling work and family is one of the toughest jobs in the world. So, sleep whenever you can. That dirty corner can be dusted later. But you need sleep, now!
Before you jump into the workforce, do some practice runs. Live out your new schedule a few times before the actual D-day. This will get you ready for the real thing.
15. Remember Why You Are Working:
It may be because you need the money or because you need to work to stay sane – whatever be the reason, remind yourself of it whenever you feel overwhelmed.
16. Let Go Of Momma Guilt:
Guilt comes with the territory for most moms. Let go of it. Thousands of working moms manage to bring up amazing babies. Don’t beat yourself up. Be kind to yourself.
Not enough? Here are some more handy tips to make your return from maternity leave easier!
- Don’t leave everything for the next morning. Get things ready for the next day before you go to sleep at night.
- Plan and ready your wardrobe for the coming week on weekends. Wash and iron clothes during the weekend so that you are not rushed during the mornings.
- Make lists, about everything! Meals, grocery, what to do in your free time, to do list for office – lists can make your life so much easier.
- Use the Internet to shop as much as you can. It will save you time and will also keep you sane.
- Keeping the house in order when you are juggling family and work can be a nightmare. The solution? Make a housekeeping schedule! Fix a time so that everything can get done without driving you over the edge.
- If you feel like you are not being as productive at work as you were before, don’t worry. You have just become a mother. It is a huge accomplishment. Give yourself time. And talk to your colleagues and boss about your apprehensions.
- Enjoy the positives of going to work. Can’t think of any? How about being able to eat and drink your cup of coffee without interruption? Or going to the bathroom without a worry? Once you are at work, you’ll come to cherish these little luxuries.
- When you have a little baby at home, you need to be ready to take time off work. Talk to your boss about possible scenarios and how your employer can support you.
- Exhaustion is going to become your middle name. Accept that fact. You are not superhuman and you need to accept that too! You need help, learn to ask for it.
- Money can be THE issue that brings a number of marriages to their knees, more so when you have a baby. That is why it is important for you and your partner to work together as a team. Create a budget and stick to it.
- Delegate – at work and at office! Learn to trust your husband. And ease up a little! So, he may not be a master cook or cleaner. But he’ll get things done. Do not micromanage. So what if he put on the diaper wrong? Let him bond with the baby while you catch your breath! At work, learn to share work. Yes, it feels great to achieve something single handedly. But now is not the time for that. Allow yourself time to settle down.
- You’ll need to make time for some one on one time with your baby. This may mean that the weekends will be all about ‘family’. This may also mean turning down invitations for social gatherings and losing a few friends. But it is all worth it. The weekends are all about making up to your baby.
No matter how much you love your baby, don’t make it the topic of all conversations at home. Your life may revolve around your baby, but others have different priorities. Don’t blame your colleagues for not being interested in what your baby ate for dinner!
If you feel envy for the stay at home mother next door, remember that the grass is greener on the other side! Parenting is hard, whether you are a working mom or a stay at home mom. So, don’t compare. Make the best of the situation, and soon you’ll get into a routine.
Don’t worry – your baby will be fine and will not hold your ‘working mommy’ status against you. In fact, you well may turn out to be her role model! Take care and be kind – to yourself, you deserve it!
Are you returning to work after maternity leave? What is it you are worried about the most? Share with us!
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