On January 6, I became a new mom. I felt very stressed and overwhelmed. 12 weeks later I became a working new mom. (Insert curse words here).
Not only am I dealing with the stress and responsibilities of being a new parent, I now have to deal with the stress and responsibilities of my job. I love my career but there are some hurdles I have to overcome. There’s trying to reintegrate myself into work after an extended leave, missing my baby, and the working mom guilt (the worse guilt ever).
For other mommies returning to work after maternity leave, here are some tips to make the transition a bit more manageable
- Allow yourself to feel guilty/ happy/angry/tired/conflicted/sad/ — or all of the above. Your emotions are normal, and it’s OK. Don’t dwell on the negative feelings.
- Come back on a Thursday. A two-day week is an easier transition than a five-day week.
- Make use of your lunch hour exercise, organize, run small errands, pay bills, answers emails so that you have more free time to be with your baby once you get home.
- Phase work back into your life. See if youremployer will allow you to work part-time for a while before you return to work full-time.
- Have load of pictures and videos of your baby ready. Not that you will ever forget them but it sure is nice to see their faces and hear their voices.
- If you’re continuing to breastfeed, set a pump schedule to keep your milk supply up. Let others around you know so no one tries to schedule meetings at the same time. (See tip number 5, this might increase your supply)
- If you’re not pumping, take your break anyway. It will help keep your energy up and helps to clear your mind.
- Set your schedule — and stick to it. If the boss wants you to work impossible hours, bring it up and try to set hours that work for your family.
- See if your boss will let you to work from home one or more days per week.
- Get your support network ready. Know who you talk to if you need to vent. Talk to coworkers or other women who have been through what you’re going through
- Take your time. Don’t make rash decisions. Take a couple of months to get back into the swing of things.
- Write down your goal. There have been times when I miss my child so much, I want to quit my job. But I keep a post-it of my goals and the reasons why I’m working. I work to be able to provide for my child and to give him a better life. Always remember what you’re working for.
Being a working mom is a sacrifice and a reward. How did you transition back to work after maternity leave?
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