Going back to work after your maternity leave will no doubt be a very emotional experience. Leaving your baby with someone else can be stressful, not to mention the extra stress of having to get out the door at a certain time. You want to have everything in place before hand to make it a smooth transition.
Here are some tips to help you prepare for your return to work.
1) Find quality child care
Select someone that you will feel comfortable taking care of your baby. It’s important that you have a care giver that you can trust. This will help you to be able to relax while you’re at work. This can be a babysitter, nanny, family member, or a day care. Make sure to pick someone that is reliable. Consider having a backup just in case something happens. This is especially important if you’re using a day care. Kids in day care tend to get sick more often. You won’t be able to take your baby to day care if they’re sick. Have an alternate plan in place so that you aren’t rushing around at the last minute.
2) Prepare for your new routine
Practice your new routine ahead of time. Start practicing a week in advance and do it everyday. Plan out how much time it will take you to get yourself and your baby ready to go. You don’t want to go back to work and be late on your first day. Give yourself some extra time. There might be a nappy blowout, or you might need to change your outfit due to a vomit incident. Be prepared for anything that the day might throw at you. Get as much ready the day before as you can. This will save you some time on the big day. Plan to arrive at work a little early. This way you can give yourself a cushion to get settled.
3) Gather your necessities
Have the supplies prepared that you will need for the day. If you’re breastfeeding for example, take your breast pump to work. Have a discussion with your boss about setting aside time to pump and where you can do it privately. You don’t want to have to go through the work day feeling as though your breasts are going to explode or have leakage issues. Also be sure to pack extra food and a water bottle and consider taking an extra shirt and some breast pads. You might even want to pack a box of tissues. Likewise ensure you have all the relevant phone numbers of your childcare provider and diarise your nursery pickups.
It’s hard to be away from your baby. Many women experience a wide range of emotions. This is completely normal, and nothing to feel embarrassed over. Be ready so that you don’t get caught off guard.
In order to perform at your best, you need to be prepared. Getting enough rest, having a plan, and having the supplies that you need will help you survive the day. It will get easier to get back into your routine. Having a baby changes everything. You might need to be make some adjustments to accommodate your life changes.
Erica Johnson is the Main Editor for Inner Parents and a very proud mother of two who’s passionate about the latest parenting tips & baby products.