Going back to work after taking some time off for maternity leave can be difficult for mothers both emotionally and physically. For many women, the return to work happens sooner than expected and is harder than anticipated. The following are ways to help cope with the roller coaster of emotions you may experience as well as lessen the challenges during this transition.
1. Find childcare ahead of time: Begin your search for childcare early to ensure you have more options and take the time to become acquainted with the daycare or caregiver you choose. Knowing that your precious little one is in trusted hands will make you less anxious and more relaxed at work.
2. Practice your new routine: While preparing for your return to the office, practice getting up and ready with your baby and out the door by a certain time. Do what you can the night before to simplify your morning such as laying out your attire, packing the diaper bag, and getting your coffee and breakfast prepped. Through these trial runs, you will find what works best for you and your baby and in no time, your daily routine will be running smoothly and efficiently.
3. Get as much rest as you can: One of the biggest difficulties transitioning back to work is undoubtedly sheer exhaustion. Make sleep a priority and try adopting an earlier bedtime.
4. If possible, return to work midweek: The first week is going to be tough so a shorter work week initially will help moms adjust to their new schedule and from being away from their baby.
5. Build a support system: In addition to family and friends, relationships with other moms become a lifeline of emotional support. Staying connected and talking with others who are going through the same journey will help you work through your mom guilt and all the other pressures you naturally feel as you re-enter the workforce as a working parent.
6. Be patient with yourself: Have the expectation that the first few months will be an adjustment period and you will encounter days where you feel overwhelmed and want to quit. Remember to give yourself enough time to get back into the swing of things. It is important to find the healthy balance that works best for you, your career and your family.