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The first day back to work after maternity leave can be incredibly difficult. Whether your little one is at day care or with a family member, it can still bring on feelings of sadness or guilt.
Every mama is in a different situation but there is one thing we all have in common: we don’t like to be away from our babies!
Returning to work after maternity leave is tough but it can go a lot smoother than you think.
Here are tips for surviving your first day back to work after maternity leave:
1) Plan Ahead of Time
Feeling prepared will make the transition less overwhelming.
Think about you need to get organized before your return. Do you need to set up child care? Need a doctor’s note clearing you to go back?
Handle everything you need to prior to going back to work so that you aren’t scrambling. Take some time to make a to-do list of what needs to be done before you go back to work.
You will feel so much more at ease if you don’t postpone.
2) Stay in the Moment With Your Baby
Before going back, don’t dwell on having to return to work. Be as present as possible and soak up these moments with your little one.
And once you are back to work, be sure to keep your work and personal life separate. Over time, you will fall into an after work routine that will allow you to be there with your sweet baby.
When you’re home, put your focus on them and embrace every moment!
3) Meal Plan
Something that will make your life easier when returning to work after maternity leave is meal planning.
While on leave, you were probably able to be more flexible with your time and didn’t have to plan much since you were already home.
But creating a meal plan each week can help ensure that you are eating right while at work, as well as help you feel prepared after work.
The last thing you want to be doing is trying to throw together a lunch early in the morning on top of getting ready and taking care of your little one.
4) Make Sure You Have Comfortable Clothes
Every woman is different. Some may be able to fit into their pre-pregnancy clothes right away and others may need to buy a few new items to fit their postpartum body.
Before going back to work, go through your wardrobe and see what still fits and what you’ll need to buy.
Having new clothes postpartum will feel refreshing and ensure that you’re comfortable when you return to work after maternity leave.
5) Get Into a Routine BEFORE You Return
One of the best things you can do for yourself is not wait until the last minute to establish a routine. Here is my personal experience as an example:
While on leave, my husband and I were able to work out a schedule where he took the night shift, I would take over early in the morning, and we’d be up together all afternoon. This was perfect for us because we were both able to get an adequate amount of sleep.
But as it got closer to me returning to work, we knew that we’d have to start going to bed at the same time. So the week before I went back to work, we started going to bed at the same time to see how it was waking up in the middle of the night with the baby.
This helped us a ton and gave us a feel for what to expect overnight. If you wait until the night before to establish a routine, you may find yourself feeling flustered.
6) Bring Pictures of Your Baby
It probably goes without saying, but bring pictures of your baby to keep at work! Seeing their sweet face can brighten your day and keep you motivated. You will be reminded of why you are working so hard!
7) Check In
Lastly, while you’re at work, be sure to check in! It was so helpful for me when my husband would FaceTime me during my lunch break. Seeing my little man made me so happy and it helped me get through the day. Periodically check in with daycare or your caregiver at work to give yourself peace of mind.
Final Thoughts on Returning to Work After Maternity Leave
Leaving your sweet baby will never be easy. But following these tips can help you feel prepared and have peace of mind! What made you feel better going back to work after maternity leave? Share in the comments!