We’ve all been there—that circled date on the calendar when your maternity leave ends keeps creeping closer and closer. You probably have so many emotions going through your head so be sure and keep these things in mind!
1. Let go of the guilt.
Those guilty feelings of leaving your child when you go back to work are completely normal and understandable. Go easy on yourself and try to let go of the guilt; whether you are going back to work because you want to or because you have to.
2. Have secure childcare.
One of the best ways to ease the stress is to have secure, reliable, and trustworthy childcare in place. Do a few dry runs with your sitter or daycare provider before you have to officially return so you are comfortable with the routine and are sure your child is in the best hands possible.
3. Stock up on essentials.
Stock up on the essentials you will need at the office. Think breast pump, nursing bra, healthy snacks, bottles of water, and of course, a framed picture of your new little love.
4. Go shopping.
You may still be dealing with sleepless nights and extra baby weight so hitting the stores to shop for a few new items may help you feel, and look, your best.
5. Learn to say no.
Once you return to work, it will be easy to get caught up in the endless stream of emails, deadlines, and demands. Learn to say no to anything you absolutely don’t need to do. That extra project or answering emails in the middle of the night? Make it a priority to say no.
6. Go back midweek.
If possible, return to work mid-week. That way you can ease in, work a day or two, and then have the weekend to recover. It will help you figure out what works best with your schedule and how to juggle everything on your plate.
Give yourself a deadline to reevaluate what is working and what isn’t. Maybe for you it will be two weeks or a month. If something doesn’t feel right or isn’t working, see what options are available to you. Maybe it’s flex time or job sharing, but sitting down with your manager or boss may give you some options you didn’t know you had.
Leaving your little one behind after maternity leave is stressful and nerve-wracking. Keep these things in mind to help ease the transition!