5 Tips for Returning to Work after Maternity Leave
Every woman who has ever had to return to work after maternity leave has faced very similar questions, problems and anxieties. All those issues are real, natural and expected and it’s completely down to us to deal with them appropriately. Just like every other major change in our lives and daily routines, going back to work and leaving your young one is quite stressful and the way we manage that stress has a direct impact on both our life and the life of our family.
So, what is it that we can do to be as prepared as possible for the inevitable moment of changing our daily routine once again? Here are five tips that should help you go through the transition phase as smoothly as possible:
Get What You Need
Having all the things for the big day ready is of great importance, since you will have even less time to do some last-minute shopping. The items you might need include a breast pump, a bag to carry it, and nursing pads to protect your clothes in case you get delayed on pumping.
Another welcome addition would be some healthy snacks, which will help you overcome hunger pangs and keep your body fit and healthy. This is particularly important if you’re still nursing, so make sure you don’t turn to vending machines for some junk food.
Finally, you need to stock up your fridge and freezer with meals that you won’t have time to prepare on a daily basis any more. You have to take into account that you’ll be spending time commuting or getting stuck in traffic jams, which means you need something that can be quickly reheated or defrosted before putting it on the dining table.
Looking and Feeling Good is Important
As you know, it’s going to take some time before your body returns to the state it was in before pregnancy. You really need to be patient and not expect your old clothes to fit you on the day when you’re supposed to return to work.
Still, that doesn’t mean you should only wear tracksuit bottoms, no matter how comfortable you feel in them. Make sure you find some clothes that you’ll feel and look good in, since that will help you feel better about yourself.
If Possible, Ease In
Provided that your boss allows it, you might want to schedule your return date for the middle of the week, thus cutting a full week into half and helping your baby get used to your absence more easily. Another good idea is to start working half-days for a week or two, so that you gradually extend the time away from your baby. This, of course, is not possible in every company, but it’s something definitely worth checking out.
You can’t expect to find the same working environment as the one you left. People have continued with their work and lives and, after all, you have a huge new responsibility with the baby. So, if you see that you simply can’t find a balance, it might be a good idea to consider pursuing a different career. Your newly acquired mom skills might be useful if you take up a course in aged care or the increasingly popular early childhood training.
Do a Dry Run
It might be useful to test your new schedule before it actually becomes your reality. So, choose a day near the end of your maternity leave and do a dry run. Wake up at the time when you would wake up if you had to go to work and check how much time you need to do all the chores before leaving home. Chances are you’ll need to adjust your plan slightly to make it work. The secret is to do as much as possible as early as possible, which should give you enough sleep in the morning.
As you can see, the worst thing you can do is actually do nothing and hope that everything will be the same as it was before you had a baby. It simply won’t. That’s why it’s vital that you prepare well for your return to work, so that your whole family, and especially the baby, can be given the right amount and quality of time to adapt to the new life.
About the Author:
Claire is a personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. You can find her online writing and giving tips about lifestyle and development as a regular contributor at highstylife.com.
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