Spending time at home while on maternity leave was a great time for me. After years and years working in time-consuming and mentally exhausting marketing jobs, I finally took some time off and spent time with my precious newborn baby. Before my maternity leave, I was afraid that I would be bored at home. After all, one year is a very long time to stay at home when you’re not used to it.
I was so wrong! I wasn’t bored for a second (how can one get bored with a baby at home?
When it was time to go back to work, I got a little scared again.
How would I be able to manage my full-time job while caring for my LO? What would my daily routine look like? Was it even possible for two parents to work full time without the help of family around?
So many questions and I haven’t even mentioned the high cost of a daycare.
Today, I can say that going back to work was the right decision for me. Going back to do the job I love was entirely what I needed. Of course, you need more daily preparation, time management skills, and to be a good multitasker. But you are a mom, you already have all of that.
Now for the practical side. I want to share a few tips with you that will help you prepare for your first day of work as a mom:
Tips for going back to work after maternity leave
1. Build daily routines for your LO that will help him or her with the transition from home to daycare or from your care to another caregiver.
2. Place your LO in his or her daycare 2-3 weeks before the date of your return to work. This will give you and your baby some time to get to know the caregivers and get used to your new daily routine. At this time start to build a new schedule for your family.
This way you will have less stress on your first day back to work.
3. Building on tip #2, take two weeks for yourself. We all know that maternity leave is not actually a vacation. Take some time to rest, read, and fill your energy.
4. Try to complete as much as you can from your To Do list, even if it is months in advance. This would be a useful time to finish up all your time-consuming tasks: Book your vacation, buy gifts for your friends who have upcoming birthdays, plan your LO’s first birthday, talk with the cable company, and go to the dentist. Whatever you need to do, now is the time to do it.
This way in your first few weeks of work you won’t need to juggle more than what you already have.
I went back to work in November and by that time, I already had Christmas gifts for everyone 🙂
5. Cook and freeze.
Cook your favorite meals and freeze them in personal containers for dinners or your lunch. This will be useful for all the evenings when you will be tired, but still need to eat something. This will be especially useful for your first couple weeks back to work.
6. Get ready to work: read, write, open your mailbox, or go to lunch and learns. Catch up and see what has changed in your industry in the last 12 months.
7. Organize your closet
Although it is so comfortable to go everywhere in your favorite yoga pants, you might want to organize your closet before you go back to work. Check all your office clothes and yes… do some shopping.
I wish you all a great first day back at work.
And don’t worry. By your second day, you will feel like you never left.
This post has been first published as a guest blog on Mommy Connections Midtown Toronto Blog