Returning to work after maternity leave .. Practical steps to get rid of confusion

From staying connected and online throughout maternity leave, to rebuilding your confidence in your professional abilities and worrying about choosing the right daycare to take care of your baby during office hours, returning to work after having a new baby can be a huge challenge for working moms.

After months off, you find that you have to return to the job and fulfill its requirements as a different person with new priorities and concerns. So how do you make your first few weeks at work as smooth as possible?

If you had the choice, is it better to relax and go slowly, or just jump straight and try as hard as you can? How should you manage your relationships with your boss and co-workers?

pivotal stage

It’s normal to be stressed, says Daisy Wadman Dowling, founder and CEO of Work Parent, a consultancy for working parents, that returning to work after a new baby is an “extraordinary transitional phase”.

It was reported by Harvard Business Review. (Harvard Business Review) “Everything changes – from your daily work schedule, to your new responsibilities as a parent, to your identity in terms of how you see yourself today.”

And in addition to stress, she added, you’re doing all of this while looking after a young person who might not sleep well and get unwell every day.

Denis Russo, professor of organizational behavior at Carnegie Mellon University, adds that returning to work after giving birth is an “intense physical and psychological transformation.”

One heavy thought is that you’re not yet ready to leave your baby, or that you might feel guilty about deciding to go back to work in the first place.

Although “all of this is normal” of course, Rousseau warns, it “makes it more stressful”.

Given the amount of stress you are under at that time, beware that there is no ideal path. The most important thing you can do is have faith, “try your best and you’ll be fine,” and know that there are many ways to do this.

Coming back to work after maternity leave can be very stressful (Pixels)

Here are some steps on how to get a new mom back to work after maternity leave:

  • Develop a pre-planned baby care

Knowing your child’s care program is of course a must. Test options before you return to work so that you and your child feel more comfortable when it’s time to return.

Decide whether it will be a close family member, specialized Child Care options, or a trusted, professional babysitter.

You will also want to make contingency plans if you are absent or unable to care for your child during your daily working hours for one circumstance or another.

  • Maintain a consistent routine

Babies and young children feel more stable when their days are structured and predictable. And if it’s possible and you haven’t done so already, try to keep the same routine every morning with your baby.

According to What To Expect. (What To Expect)This is important to help your family reach a normal rhythm. And remember, training, continuity, and simplification is the answer.

For example, hug the child while feeding him while your husband is getting ready, then the husband takes care of the child to read books and pet him while you are ready, then try changing his diaper and feeding him again if necessary before you leave the house.

  • Get ready to pump breast milk

If you plan to continue breastfeeding, make the transition to pumping and bottles a gradual process before returning to your job.

Start pumping early each day, then store your breast milk in the refrigerator for use when needed while you’re away.

Also offer the bottle to your child at least 3 weeks before the date of returning to work, gradually increasing the number of times he relies on it.

Train the babysitter to offer the bottle to the baby to begin to get used to the fact that he will receive feeds from someone other than his mother. This transitional approach helps your baby adapt.

Cow's milk should not be given purely in a feeding cup or bottle to a baby during the first year of life.  (Publishing is free for customers of the German news agency “dpa”. The image may only be used with the aforementioned text and provided that the source is indicated.) Lens: dpa Photos: Andrea Warnecke/dpa-tmn/dpaOffer the bottle to your child at least 3 weeks before your return to work (German)
  • define the priorities

Managing time when you return to work is more important than anything else. And if you weren’t familiar with the concept of daily to-do lists before, it’s time to prepare them for your day at work and at home too.

Decide what needs to be done and what can be put off for later, whether it is for a short time, or indefinitely. Also, if you’re pumping breast milk for your baby, make time for it in your schedule.

Also learn to feel comfortable delegating tasks to others, such as your co-workers, your spouse, or a family member. The more unnecessary items you give up, the more you will be able to focus on the important things.

  • Communicating with others is a must

Returning to work is a transitional time when you’ll need to join a special circle of support, so talk to your spouse, friends or other working moms about how you’re feeling, especially if you’re sad, confused and depressed.

  • Make time for yourself

If you’re exhausted and emotionally and physically drained all the time, you’re not going to do any of your “job” well, so get as much rest as possible by going to bed at a reasonable time and trying to nap when baby takes a nap on the weekends.

Also, get some exercise, even if it’s just one kilometer from your workplace and walk that distance every day.

Finally, make time for fun at least once a week. You can then treat yourself to a visit to the salon, for example, or take a book and sit in your favorite cafe, or meet a friend in the park, or plan a long hot bath in the middle of the week after your child goes to sleep.

Plan a long, hot bath in the middle of the week after your baby goes to sleep (Getty Images)

Managing expectations and reconciling feelings

Coming back to work after maternity leave can be very stressful, and that’s okay. All major transformations require some adjustment, adaptation, and compromise. Thus, you may feel conflicting feelings until you take control gradually.

Occasionally the “Thermite Barn” (Today’s Parent) Educational, it is natural for you to feel anxious about leaving the child, as well as to worry and continue to check on him and call his babysitter every hour. The important thing is to appreciate your own needs and make decisions based on what you think is best for your child and yourself.

And whenever feelings of guilt begin to come to you, remind yourself that when you take care of yourself and achieve practical and moral successes, you are helping your child as well.

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