Maternity leave is a time of incredible change. For many mothers, it can be both daunting and exciting to think about returning to work. Whether it's full-time or part-time employment, working mothers often worry about how they will juggle parenting with their career demands. Others look forward to going back to work as a new chapter in their lives.
Photo by Tirachardz from Freepik
Before returning to work after maternity leave, you should take some time to plan what issues need to be addressed. This will help ensure a smooth transition back into the workplace and prevent any potential problems.
These are the key items you need to take into consideration:
- You and your husband need to sit down and discuss things as soon as possible. The plans you had before might not work now, so you'll need to be flexible. You shouldn't try to do everything yourself - figure out a way to divide up the tasks between the two of you.
- It is important to communicate regularly with your spouse about how you are managing your work, family life and emotions. It is also crucial to make time for your partner.
- It may be possible to arrange a trial period of part-time or flexible working hours with your employer, to help you and your spouse adjust to your new arrangements. This could involve returning to work for a couple of weeks initially, to see how things are going.
When it comes to returning to work after having a baby, know that you are not alone. In fact, most moms go back to work when their children are under one year old. So, take heart in knowing that generations of women have gone before you and have paved the way. To help make your transition a little smoother, we've gathered some helpful tips and tricks so you can return to work like a boss.
Don’t Overload Yourself
Photo by benzoix from Freepik
At work, try to take on only as many responsibilities as you can handle without over stressing yourself. A little stress may be beneficial, but too much could leave you feeling exhausted at the end of the day and unable to spend time with your family. Prioritize your work, set limits, and organize your day on what needs to be done and what can wait.1
Communicate With Your Superior
Open and honest communication with your boss is key to appearing professional while also allowing for early intervention should any issues arise.2 Don't be afraid to ask for help when needed; it shows that you are realistic and level-headed, two qualities that will endear you to your colleagues.
Prioritize Yourself, Too
Self-care is essential for moms. Make time for yourself every day, even if it's just a few minutes. Get together with friends for lunch or coffee and talk about whatever is on your mind, whether it's work or motherhood.1
Practice Your Routine
Photo by tirachardz from Freepik
The best way to help your partner or care provider learn your routine and feel comfortable taking over is by doing a practice run. Plan your work wardrobe (if needed) with pumping-friendly clothes and discuss the sharing of duties with your partner or care provider beforehand.3
Mixed Emotions? It’s Normal
You may feel conflicted, or even happy and sad at the same time. All of these feelings are natural and normal when you're returning to work after having a baby.3
You are enough and that’s enough!
Use this time to think about what you DID right, instead of what you didn't. Feel good about yourself and the actions you took, rather than beating yourself up over choices that were made. Everyone can use a little extra cheering up, and motherhood is no different. Get the good affirmations going early with this item, and everyone in your sphere will be grateful.3
- Returning To Work After Baby, available at https://raisingchildren.net.au/grown-ups/work-child-care/going-back-to-w.... Accessed on 25 October 2022.
- Returning to Work After Maternity Leave, available at https://www.nct.org.uk/life-parent/work-and-childcare/returning-work/ret.... Accessed on 25 October 2022.
- Returning to work? 11 Going Back Hacks, available at https://www.enfamil.com/articles/returning-work-11-going-back-hacks/. Accessed on 25 October 2022.