Your bundle of joy is cooing, smiling and enjoys cuddling in your lap … milestones that melt your heart, but they also mean that your maternity leave is almost over. Maternity leave is often seen as a way to transition into this new phase of life, but for many of us it doesn’t seem like nearly enough time to adjust. Tough stuff, for sure!
And then there’s the big “G” – guilt. You feel guilty about leaving your baby in someone else’s care and are excited at the same time to get back to the solitude of your cubicle. Ah … adult conversation during the day. (Yes!) But, should you? STOP right there. You should not feel guilty for working. Why? Because you’re supporting your family, giving yourself an identity and space from your kids, serving as a positive role model and doing what’s best for your family.
Truth is one of the toughest moments as a mom is going back to work after baby. You will compare yourself to other working moms and more frequently than not, you will feel that you’re falling short; believe me, that’s natural. But, life is too short; time with our kids is too short just to keep our heads above the water. So, imagine what your shallow end looks like and move towards it.
Here are a few tips to make the transition less painful … Slightly:
- Practise your new routine a week before you return to the office. Arrange for your child care to start a week early. Get used to parting with your baby. Don’t forget to come up with plan A, B and C for when your babysitter is sick.
- Ask for support. Lean on your spouse, friends and family, to help you make this transition.
- Accept that it won’t be easy. Don’t attempt to “do it all”. Keeping the house immaculate, cooking homemade meals every night, killing it at work and losing the baby weight … You are a great mother, wife and professional; don’t sweat the small stuff.
- Keep it together at the office. Although you’re exhausted from worrying about baby as well as being swamped at work … don’t let your boss think that you’re off your game. Keep your concerns to yourself and avoid venting to co-workers.
- Don’t apologize. Your boundaries will change. If your work doesn’t understand why you can’t stay late or respond to emails after hours, don’t be sorry. Be honest. Your job is to focus on work while you’re at work and on family while you’re at home.
- Breastfeeding is doable. Start pumping and freezing milk to build an emergency supply. Come up with a pumping schedule at work. You’ll need 15 to 20 minute breaks two to three times a day.
- Hang in there. Stick with it, at least for a while. If after a few months you are still unable to cope, enquire about an alternative schedule. Your goal is to find a healthy balance that works for you, your career and your family.
- Cherish the end of the day when you get to see your baby. Holding her and smelling her sweet scent will remind you that all your hard work, worries and tears are worth it.
The American Academy of Paediatrics reports that a child who is emotionally well adjusted, well loved, and well cared for will thrive regardless of whether her mother works outside the home.
Remember, you already are Supermom: you are raising a little human being! You can do this.
Source: www.workingmother.com, www.parents.com, www.thebump.com, cloudmom.com, www.scarymommy.com, www.cosmopolitan.com, www.refinery29.com, www.whattoexpect.com, theberry.com, www.policygenius.com, www.ivancatrump.com, mommyblog.com, officemum.ie