Becoming a mom changes your world, but it may not change your need or desire to return to work when your maternity leave is up. Without some planning, your first day back to work could be the first time you and your new baby are apart, which can be difficult for both of you. Thankfully, there are ways to make the transition easier for you both.
Whether you’ve hired a private sitter or will be leaving your precious bundle with a trusted daycare, like Youthland Academy, it’s best to gradually work yourself and your baby up to a full day. Start by leaving your baby with your new care provider for just a few hours at a time. By doing so, you and your baby will both know and feel comfortable with the new caregiver. If possible, schedule your practice sessions to start at the same time your childcare will start on workdays. This allows you to set an alarm and practice your new morning routine on days when running a little late won’t be a problem. These practice runs will make your first day back to work easier for all involved.
Work Out Feeding
If you’re breastfeeding, the need to pump and keep on top of baby’s feeding around your work schedule can be daunting. The first step is to make sure your baby will take a bottle before you go back to work. Whether you fill it with breast milk or formula, your baby will need to be willing and able to drink out of a bottle when spending time with other caregivers. Talk to your boss or your human resources department before you go back to work and ask them to help you identify a private and appropriate space to pump when you need to at work.
Even if you love your job, ease back into it as slowly as possible. The last time you worked you didn’t have a baby waking you up at night. You’re going to be tired and you may feel a bit overwhelmed by the pile of work waiting for you on your return. Work your way through at a reasonable pace. It will take time for you to whip through tasks as quickly and effectively as you once did. Expecting too much from yourself too soon will cause unnecessary frustration. It’s important to learn to say no at this time, as well. Wait until your back on pace to accept special projects and volunteer to do extras or work overtime. If you can, go back to work part time or midweek so your first week isn’t a 40-hour marathon.
These three tips will let you plan ahead so the transition back to work after your maternity leave will be smoother and simpler. You’ll still miss your little cuties, but you’ll be able to focus on the tasks at hand knowing you and your baby are prepared.