4 ways to prepare for going back to work after maternity leave

back to work maternity leave Aug 31, 2022

The end of maternity leave can be daunting—not to mention a little bit scary. The best way to approach this milestone is to prepare yourself for what lies ahead. Here are some things you will need to prepare for before getting back into that more rigid work schedule. 

Your baby will temporarily wake up more often.

Is your baby on a regular sleep schedule? They may break it for a little while once you return to work. But don't worry—it is only temporary. Some babies tend to wake up more often once Mom returns to work because their schedule is disrupted. Over time, and once you're all used to the new plan, they will start sleeping on schedule again.

You may want to get a household task meeting on the books.

Being home with your child has probably meant a shift in household chores and responsibilities. A good suggestion would be to set aside some time with your partner when you're a few weeks back into the swing of things to discuss how the everyday tasks are going and whether either one of you needs support now that schedules have changed. This would also be an excellent time to reconnect with one another since returning to work can sometimes be overwhelming for both of you.

You'll feel sluggish and tired no matter how rested you are.

Are you back to getting a full night's sleep every night? Do you get enough water and nutritious food throughout the day? You might then be surprised at how sluggish you can feel returning to work. Your body is going through a big adjustment, and your brain is being used in a different way than it has in a while, so you'll find that you might feel tired even after a full night's sleep. Just like your baby's schedule changes, this will pass.

You might feel left out at work. 

It's likely been a few months (if not a year or more!) since you've been at work. When you return, you might feel left out because of how much you missed. Maybe there's a new co-worker or someone retired; perhaps someone got a promotion, or there was some significant milestone you missed. These feelings can make you feel blue, but remember, over time, you will get back into the groove of being a member of your work community again. You could even consider it a fresh start. 

No matter how long it's been since you've been in the groove of working, just remember that you've changed. Your priorities have probably shifted since becoming a parent (or a parent again). Give yourself the grace to learn how to do things again, to listen, to take everything in and to only push yourself as much as you're able. You'll be back to feeling comfortable and in the know before you know it. 

(Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash)

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