13 Tips For Returning To Work After Having A Baby
It can be challenging to go back to work after being on maternity leave for several weeks or months. It is so tough leaving your sweet baby behind and going back to work. Here are 10 useful tips to help make this very hard transition a bit easier.
1. Start The Process Early
You don't want there to be any uncertainty about who is going to be caring for your baby while you are at work, so start your search early. It isn't too soon even before your baby is born. If there is a certain daycare you want to use, you may need to go on their waiting list far in advance.
2. Carefully Choose Your Care Provider
The transition of returning to work will be a lot easier if you have confidence in who will be caring for your baby. If you will be using a daycare, pay a visit to the center and take your baby with you before returning to work, so that both you can become comfortable with the people and facility.
3. Practice Your New Daily Routine
It will take some time to learn how to keep your new roles in balance - and you will be able to do this faster if you have a well organized and efficient daily routine. What is the best way to ensure your new routine will work? The week before you head back to work, try a few practice runs of your new routine. Try to make arrangements for the child care to begin a week early. That way you can try your daily routine out - and also get used to having to say goodbye to your baby for the day. During your first week back to work set your alarm clock early to give you enough time to work any kinks out of your schedule. Also, make sure to have a good backup plan prepare for days when either your babysitter or baby is sick.
4. Get Back To Work Slowly
If it is possible, work part-time for the first few weeks of returning to work. This can help your baby and you make the adjustment of being apart, and allow you to work out any kinks in your systems and schedule.
5. Ask for Updates
The most challenging part about returning to work is having to leave your baby for the day. Ask the daycare to send pictures and text to you of your child throughout the day. You also should have the right to call and check-in to see how things are going.
6. Have the Pumping Discussion
Even before returning to work, be sure to speak to your supervisor about your pumping plans, and what support you need for feeding your baby. The Human Resources Department may be able to locate a private place for you to do your pumping.
7. Rest as Much as Possible
Sheer exhaustion is one of the largest complaints that working mothers have. When you are very tired, it is also a lot easier to fall apart. Your need for sleep should be a priority over cleaning the kitchen or doing the laundry. Whenever possible, ask your husband to help. Since you will need to get up earlier, you should also go to bed earlier as well.
8. Reserve Some "Mommy Time" For Yourself
While you were on leave from work, you probably made some new "mommy friends." Once you return to work, don't ignore these friendships. It is critical to have friendships with other moms. You need emotional support. Try to get together on a regular basis.
9. Explore All Of Your Options
In certain situations, the job you had prior to taking your parental, maternity, or adoption leave might not be the best fit any longer for your family, your baby, and you. If it doesn't feel right to return to your old job, consider other options to find work that is more manageable and enjoyable. Career counselling, interview preparation training, and resume help are offered by many community-based employment services.
10. Plan Ahead
Your new preparation time is at night. Plan on packing your baby bag and lunch, laying out your clothes, and organizing everything for the following day before going to sleep. That will make your mornings go a lot smoother.
11. Train Your Baby To Feed From a Bottle
If you have been breastfeeding exclusively, start to give your baby a bottle of milk occasionally. If your child refuses it, have Dad or somebody else try. Continue to offer the bottle on a regular basis until your baby starts drinking from it.
12. Don't Feel Guilty
Whether you need or choose to return to work, don't feel guilty about it. Increasing number of mothers work outside of their homes. Going back to work doesn't mean you are a bad mother, so don't ever think you are doing something wrong.
13. Hang in There
During the first few months of returning to work, you will most likely have days when you feel you can't handle everything and feel like quitting. Try to hang in there for a while. According to experts, most mothers need some time to become accustomed to their new routine. If you still don't think you can cope after a couple of months, talk to your boss about a part-time arrangement or getting a flex schedule set up that allows you to work from home for a few days a week. Before talking to your boss, come up with a solid plan first.