So this week I went back to work after a year of maternity leave. Wow. 12 months went so fast!
I can hardly believe a year of my life has gone by on the absurd rollercoaster journey of motherhood.
Tips to help with going back to work after maternity
I wanted to share some tips on how to make going back to work easier – both for you and for your baby…
5 tips – make going back to work after maternity easier for you
1. Get yourself organised – iron your clothes, re-heal your shoes, pack your car/bag the night before, paint your nails, get yourself a picture of your little one printed for your desk at work – just think of anything that will make your life easier and get it done.
Feeling organised will help you to feel psychologically ‘ready’ for this new chapter.
2. Get your surroundings organised – this will pay dividends when you are back at work – suddenly, your time is compressed to deliver basically the same things, so make your life easier and reduce the number of jobs to do. My recommendations:
o Fill your car with fuel
o Have a clear out – your wardrobe, underwear drawer, sock drawer, make up bag, toiletry bag.
Trust me, you do not want to be trawling through your tights collection trying to find a pair without a hole in when you are pressed for time and chasing after your baby who’s trying to eat the toilet brush in a morning.
o Prepare and freeze some meals so you have something quick, healthy and hassle-free when you get home.
o Create a section in your little ones wardrobe of clothes you want them to wear in the day whilst you’re at work that you can easily grab and put on in a hurry.
3. Make sure your happy with your childcare provider – this will make the emotional strain of leaving your little one a heap easier. Also – make sure you have a back-up plan – many little ones fall sick in their first weeks with new babies (and new germs!). Have a plan B.
4. Talk to your partner – get clarity on who is doing what and how in the new world of you being back at work. My partner and I set up a shared calendar on our phones so we could both agree and see who is doing what each day. Share with your partner if you’re feeling anxious about it – bottling up your emotions for your first day is a recipe for a melt-down half way to work!
5. Have contact with work – don’t leave it until your first day back to make contact with work – keep up to speed with what’s going on so you feel less daunted about your first day. Also, keep the contact up when you are back too – let your manager know more about your childcare situation – they can’t help you if they don’t know how.
4 tips – make going back to work easier for your baby
1. Prepare a child-friendly book of lovely photos for your little one to look at whilst your away like this one by Storkz– you might want to add labels to the pictures so whoever is looking after them can talk about who is in the photos. Include shots of you and close family and friends.
2. Equally, have a photo of your child care provider (or key worker at nursery) on your phone and show your little one from time to time so they get used to how they look whilst still being around you.
3. Arrange “settling in” sessions with your childcare provider to get your little one used to the changes – for us, ahead of nursery, we had 2 one hour sessions, 1 four hour session and 2 half day sessions.
4. Have a positive vibe – if you’re feeling upset and anxious about going back to work after maternity, your baby will pick up on this and sense something is up – try to stay as positive as possible to help them – especially around their new childcare provider.
We hope you found these tips useful! Don’t forget to check out our working-mamas section here to find out more about amazing mamas juggling motherhood and work.
Calling all mamas and mamas-to-be!
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