Your sweet baby is born and snuggling in your arms. The soft whimpers of sleepiness and middle of the night rocking lulls you into your new job of motherhood. There is no question, maternity leave has officially begun. And then, without notice, you recall the countdown. The one that says you’ll be returning to work in 4, 6, 10, 18 weeks (or somewhere in between). Your bliss bubble bursts and you begin keeping a checklist of all the must-dos before you try and shimmy into your work wardrobe.
Don’t worry my mama friends, you are not alone!
Transitioning back to work no matter the circumstances is never easy, but it’s especially rough when you’re dealing with a flood of postpartum hormones. I know all to well. As I prepped for my return to work outside of the home in early 2011 I made note of a few ways to ease the transition.
- Finalize childcare plans. Once you’ve landed on the best childcare plan for your family create a notebook detailing out a daily timeline and parenting preferences. This binder is a great tool for your caregiver to reference while you are away and the perfect way for you to keep tabs on what your little one is eating, how they are sleeping, and how many blow outs you managed to avoid. Our family opted for a nanny so in our binder I also included a list of important numbers, library story times, and the step by step insert for our baby wrap.
- Walk through a pretend day before the real day. A week or two before your first day back invite the nanny over for a morning with baby or let baby have a play date at daycare while you grocery shop or run errands for a few hours.
- Stock the house, car, and go bag. Don’t wait until the last minute to make sure diapers, wipes, clothes, and other necessities are stocked and ready to go for the big week. It will make your days less rushed and much easier for your caretaker to have everything on hand.
- Walk through your routine. Morning can be a little crazy when you, hubby, and baby are all getting up and going around the same time each day. A week before your return begin your routine so everyone knows what time they need to be doing what – showers, breakfast, diaper changes, COFFEE, and other morning musts.
- Make the big day swift. When it’s time to hit the grind sans baby don’t draw out your goodbye. Quickly kiss, hug, and be on your way. If you need to call or text to check in later that’s fine.
What do you recommend doing to ease the transition from maternity leave to working mama?