Going back to work after maternity leave can be stressful for many moms. All the bonding you’ve done with your baby in that first precious part of their life can leave you emotional and anxious to leave them. Maybe you went back to work early because you missed the buzz of a 9-5? Perhaps you just prefer to be the breadwinner and let your husband take on the stay at home role? Maybe your reasons for going back are purely financial? Whatever your reasons for going back to work, SmartMom has devised 5 top tips to make the transition a little less painful.
1) Be sure you are really ready. Being away from your child when they are at such a young age can be hard and many moms going back to work experience great feelings of guilt about leaving them. If you are not mentally ‘there’ when you are at work then this could affect your performance. If circumstances permit it, then make sure you feel really ready before you make that jump. You want to be at your absolute best when you are both at work and at home so don’t rush it if you don’t need to.
2) Make sure you have arranged adequate childcare. If other family members aren’t an option then take the time to look around and find a Kindergarten or child minder you are really comfortable with. This should never be a rushed decision. You want to be assured and confident that your child is safe and happy when you are not with them. If you already know a Kindergarten that you like then some moms get their names down when their little ones are tiny babies or even as early as when they are pregnant. Long waiting lists can delay going back to work – so think ahead.
3) Get your confidence back. Time out from a working environment can leave you feeling out of the loop. Especially when all you have spent the last few months thinking about is diapers and weaning methods. This can leave you feeling like all your experience and skills have left the building. But don’t fear, once you get back into the swing of things you will find that it all falls naturally back into place.
4) Remember that things are going to get a lot busier so get organised. Have your work clothes, lunches, etc all organised the night before so you are not rushing around. When you do have time off it will be even more important that you spend it connecting with your little one. You will become a master in the art of juggling but if you are organised then you won’t waste your one-on-one time with your child trying to catch up.
5) Finally, learn to separate your work and home life. Being a working mom can feel like you’re already done a day’s work before you even get to the office. Learn to switch off. Don’t think or talk about work when you get home. Enjoy the time spent with your family and use your evenings after the baby has gone to bed to rewind and recharge. Whether it’s a long bath or enjoying a take out, you deserve a rest.
It can be a big deal going back to work. Particularly if this is your first child. And us SmartMoms know better than anyone. So if you are feeling a bit stressed out, tired or guilty – then don’t. Just remember to keep your chin up. Because you’re doing great!