It can often seem that maternity leave comes to an end before you are truly ready. Unfortunately, ready or not, you will have to head back to work in a short while. Although you may not have too much choice in the matter, it can still feel rather overwhelming for most mothers.
The good news, though, is that there is quite a bit that you can do to prepare yourself and your baby for the transition. By following the guidelines below, you will be able to minimize the impact of this process. So, on this note, let’s get started…
Create a Routine for Yourself
As a working mom, you are going to have to balance a lot more things within a shorter period of time. So, to make sure that you get everything done, you are going to need to create a routine for yourself. This, of course, will be quite individualized as you will have to structure it around your most important tasks.
To begin with, you are going to need to write your routine down. It is a good idea to accompany your tasks with alarms on your phone as well. This way, you won’t forget anything or let anything slide past you.
The first thing you should do is to keep your home life and work life separate. In the early mornings and late evenings, you are a mom. You can focus on your mom duties only at these times. The rest of the day can be allocated to your career-related activities.
Also, you shouldn’t try to multitask as this can often end up backfiring. Instead, focus on a single task at one time and then move onto another. You will get more done this way.
Slowly Transition to a Bottle
Since you will be working, you are going to have to transition your baby to a bottle. Now, this isn’t something that will happen overnight, even when you are still using breast milk. Thus, you will need to start making the switch at least two weeks before you are due back at work. This will give you plenty of time to work out any kinks.
If you are planning on giving your baby breast milk even while you are at work, then it is imperative for you to get a good breast pump. Always do your research and consult expert sources to figure out which device is right for you. This will ensure that the process goes a little more smoothly.
It is a good idea to equip the bottle with a nipple that mimics breastfeeding. This way, your baby won’t find the experience quite so unfamiliar. You may also want someone else to bottle feed your little one at first. They may get a little fussy if they know that their mommy is close by but not feeding them.
Oh, and keep in mind that you will have to keep pumping at work as well. So, you will need to arrange it with your manager or boss to have access to a private room. This way, you will be able to feed your baby breast milk all throughout the week.
Ease Into the External Childcare Routine
You may be leaving your baby with a nanny, relative, or daycare when you go back to work. Regardless of which option you are going with you shouldn’t do it all at once. Your baby is more likely to be agitated if you suddenly leave him or her in the care of someone else.
Thus, you will need to do this gradually. First, let your baby become familiar with the other person. Then, have this individual take care of your little one while you are in the room. You can then begin to leave them alone together for longer periods of time.
As you can imagine, it is possible that your baby will fuss in the beginning. With time, though, he or she will get used to this other person. Naturally, it may be a little difficult to get used to this at first.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
As a working mom, you might imagine that you will have to balance and handle it all. This is simply not true. Rather, you are going to need to start prioritizing better. This will allow you to determine what is important and what is not.
For instance, is it absolutely necessary for your house to be sparkling clean every day? Of course not! It is much better for it to be a little messy so that you can hang out and play with your baby before they need to go to bed.
Just like that, you should focus on what is really important in your life. By paying attention to these things, above all else, you will find that your life as a working mom gets a little easier.
Gather Up Your Village
You may have heard the saying, “it takes a village to raise a child”. Well, to a certain extent, this is true. It can be difficult to pull this off by yourself, especially when you are a working mom. So, before you head back to work, figure out who is willing to help you out.
You will often find that your friends and family members are willing to contribute in a variety of small ways. So, make sure to take them up on all of their offers. If you aren’t used to getting help from others, this can feel a little uncomfortable. However, as time goes by, you will be glad that they are there for you.
Give Yourself a Break
Sometimes, it will feel like you are failing at being both a mom as well as a working woman. However, you need to remind yourself that you are only human and that you deserve a break. So, don’t worry if you are not being perfect. The main thing is that you and your baby are doing well and that you are being as responsible as you possibly can.
So, there you have it – everything you need to know about going back to work after your maternity leave. It may not be easy but you can be certain that you will make it through.