Before your career break, you were a successful woman who was juggling different responsibilities and taking home paychecks. And then the baby came and you had to stay at home and nurture it. Now, this break is over and going back to work seems very challenging.
For most new moms, going back to the professional field and leaving the baby behind is one of the hardest things they have to do. This period usually comes with conflicting waves of emotions. One time you are excited and then the next you are sad at the thought of being away from your baby. You might even be tempted to ask for an extended maternity leave. The thing is, you will eventually need to go to work. But how can you successfully navigate through this tough phase? Outlined below are seven helpful tips that can help moms who are about to return to work after a maternity leave.
1. Do a Dry Run
A few days before you go back to work, do a dry run where you test your working routine. If you are required to be at the office by 8:00, then set an alarm and go through your expected daily routine. Practice helps to significantly reduce the amount of stress which comes with going back to work. Use the dry run to find how much time you need to feed the baby, to prepare or how many minutes it takes to drop the baby in daycare.
2. Stock-Up the Basic Necessities
Stock up the baby’s bottle with breast milk. Get a decent breast pump which you can use to pump more milk for the baby. Don’t forget to buy healthy snacks for yourself because your body needs enough nutrients for it to produce more milk. Additionally, get some nursing pads. This will help to prevent embarrassing leaks while you are at work. Organize your next day by getting the necessary things in order. Plan ahead by packing your lunch, choosing your clothes etc. This will make your day smoother
3. Start Midweek
The first week of going back to work is usually the most difficult. You are starting a new transition and your mind as well as the body isn’t used to it. To ensure that you have the shortest first week at work as a working mom, go back during midweek. You can start on Wednesday or Thursday. If you can’t do this, try to choose a week which has a holiday.
4. Look for a Good Daycare
Sometimes it might be very difficult to get a nanny or leave your child with relatives. A daycare is a good place to leave your baby. They will be in the hands of well-trained and experienced caregivers. You can search for a facility that offers daycare services near your home or the workplace where you can pop in randomly to see the baby. It’s also important to interact with your baby’s caregivers and cultivate a relationship with them.
5. Ask For Updates
For a working mom, the most difficult part about going back to work is the lack of physical and emotional connection with the baby. You are used to holding your baby every now and then or hearing their cries/laughs. If you want to know how they are, call back to ask for updates. And in the current era communication has been made easier with messaging applications, you can video chat and even ask for the baby’s snaps.
6. Don’t Gilt-Trip Yourself Because of Excitement
For some mothers, the thought of going back usually brings a mixture of emotions. You get excited because you are going to do what you love. However, you might want to stop yourself from feeling this way because of the guilt of leaving your baby behind. Remember that you’re going to work for the benefit of your child and someday they will be proud of you.
7. Find a Support Group
As a working mom, you might feel lonely the first time you go to work. Although your colleagues might be amazing and accommodating, you need to find a support group for working moms. This is where you will find important advice. You will be able to connect with other parents, learn, and share different experiences as well as concerns.