Returning to work after maternity leave causes many different emotions for mums. These emotions can often be incredibly conflicting, you feel torn leaving your baby, but relieved that you are returning to a more adult-environment at work. You might then feel guilty that you feel relieved! If you are desperately wondering how to handle returning to work after maternity leave, here are a few tips to help you adjust.
Figure The Logistics Out
You and your baby will need to create a whole new routine when you return to work. Before heading back to the office, brainstorm all the logistics around the new routine, whether your baby is going to be staying at home with a trusted caregiver, or going to a daycare nearby your work. Think about whether or not you will be packing bags, slipping in a quick feed before leaving, or taking your breast pump to work. Figuring out even the smallest details will help you adjust easier, with less stress in the mornings.
Do A Trial For Childcare
Once you have figured out your morning routine, you should give it a test run. This will put you at ease the day of returning to work, knowing that everything will work out, and it saves you the emotions that many mums feel dropping their children off for their first day of daycare, which just makes your first day of work that much harder. Drop your baby off with their new childminder or daycare and go for a cup of coffee or for a haircut!
Start Work On A Thursday
If possible, you should try to start back at work on a Thursday. Starting on a Monday can lead to an exhausting week, and is a lot for your baby to get used to as well. By starting on a Thursday, you will be so much closer to a weekend, which gives you a much needed two-day rest and some time to readjust your schedule and new routine if you need to.
Be Ready To Feel Guilty
All mums are familiar with the guilt that motherhood brings, and returning to work after maternity leave is a huge source of mum-guilt. Guilt is completely natural, and you will feel guilty for so many things, being away from your child, missing milestones, and even for enjoying being back at work. Focusing on the guilt can be overwhelming and sap your energy. Remember the guilt isn’t forever and embrace it rather than feeling horrible about it.
Work Part-Time At First If Possible
Speak to your manager about working part-time at first. Even if you have to use a few days of leave to break the first few weeks up. This helps you get used to being away from your baby and gives you more time to get used to your routine. Either take Fridays off for the next 4 weeks or work part-time for a while. Choose whatever works out best for you and your office. Just try to make the first few weeks easier for you and your baby.
There is no set way on how to handle returning to work after maternity leave, but the above tips should make it a little easier for you and your baby!