New Mom Tips for Returning To Work After Maternity Leave
The jury is out on whether returning to work after maternity leave is harder on mom or on baby – but we’re pretty sure it’s harder on mom. Whether it’s been 10 months, 12 months or 14 months, making the transition from changing diapers around the clock to balancing a full-time (or part-time) job with the demands of motherhood can be challenging..
Now that you’ve finally found childcare that suits your personal needs, you’ll have a whole new series of hurdles to jump, everything from dealing with — an onslaught of germs, stocking the diaper bag for the caregiver, and trying to avoid the rush hour commute. Chin up: You’ll also be free to enjoy a cup of coffee whenever you feel the urge and go to the washroom with no one barging in. Freedom!
As you shift from maternity leave back to work, lessen the stress during the first 12 months by following these six tips:
Understand Office Policies
Are you required to use sick days if your child isn’t feeling well? What if they have an appointment with the paediatrician that can’t be rescheduled? Learn the ins and outs of office policies as they pertain to you and your family, and encourage your partner to do the same. Ensure everybody is equally prepared for what to expect following your return from maternity leave.
After a long day at work (followed by dinner, bath-time, bed-time and a meltdown or two somewhere in-between) the last thing you’ll feel like doing is making dinner for the following day – so don’t!
Designate Sunday nights to meal prep. Cook 2-3 meals that will carry you and your family through the week. Alternate days to avoid boredom and throw in a variety of side dishes to keep things new. Check out Pinterest for some great meal prep ideas!
Even superwoman needs her sleep! If your baby is still waking up in the middle of the night to feed, you need to make it a priority to slot in some downtime. Try heading upstairs between 9-10pm to start your bedtime routine. Read a book, meditate or practice yoga for half an hour and then hit the hay. Create a routine that grants you the peace and quiet you need while providing you with the fuel required to get through the work week.
Pencil in “Me Time”
Your week is about to get a little crazy. Even though you’ll be tempted to divide 100% of your time to work and family-life, be sure to reserve a couple hours a week to non-negotiable, uninterrupted “me time”. That is time for you to refuel, recharge and spend a few hours focusing on nobody other than yourself. Get your nails done. Read a book. Go for a run. Do what makes you happy. Put it in the calendar, share it with your partner (and make sure they do the same), and stick to it, no matter what.
Accept (and Ask For) Help
Whoever said it takes a village to raise a child knew exactly what they were talking about! New moms often feel the need to do everything themselves – but why?
If a family member or friend offers to pick up your child from daycare or babysit while you and your partner enjoy some much-needed alone time, just say yes. Remember that your relationship with your partner is just as important as it ever was and allotting some time to touch base allows you both to be better parents.
Give Yourself a Break