Earlier this year, we shared Tips for Returning to Work After Maternity Leave Part I: Your Pumping Plan.
Today, in Part 2 of the series, we’ll chat about other things to consider like emotions, organization and figuring out a work wardrobe for your post-baby body.
Back to Work is Bittersweet
That first day back is pretty brutal, so expect tears. Like most moms, I cried for a few hours the first time I dropped off my baby boy to head to work. I was a runny-nosed, red-eyed sobbing mess. He was at a perfectly great daycare with very kind women and it was only a few miles from my office, but none of that mattered at that moment. It was a desperate feeling of loss, sadness, guilt and fear. Most caregivers have seen this all before and they know how to handle it. If they smile and say, “Walk away mom,” that’s what you should do.
Adult Conversations and Re-Engaging
After the initial day or two of tears, going back to work felt normal once again. I must say, after being at home with a colicky baby for months, it was really nice to be around adults again and reconnect with my career. Re-engaging with your work colleagues and your workload may be challenging, but there’s always an adjustment period. Besides, you aren’t the exact same person anymore – you’re a mom now! It may be the same job, but in many ways it’s a whole new reality.
Being Organized is Essential
This may be really easy for some parents and really hard for others, but you’ve gotta be as organized as possible when maternity leave ends. If you’re tech savvy, check out family organizer apps like Cozi or Hub Family. You can share things like grocery lists, To-Dos, pediatrician appointments, chores, emergency contacts, etc. You can even share it with relatives and caregivers. Keep all lines of communication open and have backup plans ready to go, just in case.
Work Clothes Wardrobe
This was particularly frustrating for me, because I worked at a company that only allowed jeans on Friday. The rest of the week, I had to dress up. Post-baby weight tends to drop pretty quickly, but you may not be fitting in your favorite clothes again by the end of maternity leave. Don’t despair! Carve out a few hours before you go back to work to put together a work wardrobe. Plan ahead, so you can go shopping for basics if needed. Plan your outfit the night before to make your mornings easier.
Even though I love to shop, that was the last thing I wanted to do before heading back to work. I felt tired and frumpy! I definitely wasn’t in the strip-down-to-look-at-myself-in-a-dressing-room-mirror mood. So, I revisited the outfits I bought earlier in my pregnancy before I reached levels of hugeness. Those clothes had elastic waistbands and were roomier to accommodate my post-baby body. I made sure I had a few basics ready to go before maternity leave was over like black pants, two white collared shirts, two colorful shirts, two great pair of jeans and two dresses. This was my uniform for a while.
Do you have mommy advice to share about returning to work after maternity leave? Let us know in the comments section on Facebook!