What every new mom needs to know about ending maternity leave

All good things have to come to an end. Here are a few tips and things you could do before heading back to work.

Source: https://www.shieldcontractservices.co.uk/contracting-after-maternity-leave/

Whoever says that coming out of maternity leave is as simple as taking a brisk walk on a park is probably naïve. Induction code of women returning to work after maternity leave were passed along like The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants for adults.

But, nobody really tells you how to exactly normalize the new adjustment. Whether you experienced a horrible maternity leave that was full of hip or back pain, or it was weeks of glowing bliss, you will start missing the sentiment of being a full-time, stay-at-home mom.

As a new mom, it is a big deal to get on a shower and put on fresh clothes, let alone getting to the grocery store closeby on your own. Then it hits you; nobody would get that you had just brought a new life into the world a few days ago! There’s nobody holding the doors open or offering you help with any of your bags, which rolls out all the royal treatment you used to receive during your pregnancy.

Having to start getting adjusted to the life of a new mom with no special treatment, you start having the thoughts of getting back to work in short weeks.

Suddenly you will have to dress yourself up for the first time in probably 12 weeks. Beginning to put on makeup and spraying the old perfume to recover from the smell of throw-up or baby poop.

You’re probably be worry-free because you can leave your baby to a nanny or a daycare, but it will be heart-wrenching to be separated from the tiny being who has been essentially living in or off you for close to a year.

Of course, you probably had a thought on what it’s like to leave your baby and all of the possible ups and downs of that experience. But, actually going through it probably brings so much angst that it seems impossible that it would eventually happen.

When the morning arrives, alarm rings for the first time in months, your baby is fed and pampered well, you’re ready to say goodbye. While it was a goodbye for a few hours, it felt like forever because from this day forward, you know that you would not be with that child all day, for every day.

And as you reach the office, wading through the endless list of unread emails, you start realizing that it will probably take a while to catch up on what you had missed out. It definitely isn’t the most glamorous job, but a much-needed one to get yourself ramped up.

Everything will start to look different -- like, you’re returning to your life, except that everything is different.

You probably may struggle to care about the new changes in your office. You will, of course, care again. But, to go from caring for your new baby to caring about a small fraction of a business is such a difficult transition.

The good news is, by knowing what to expect in the first few runs can greatly help the transition to be smoother. With time, maternity leave gets a bit easier after knowing that you will get back to the swing of things and caring about making an impact at work again. Plus, the sting of leaving your baby continues to mellow every day.

Once you’re at this stage, you will feel like a wonder woman who successfully juggles between it all. But, that’s not always the case.

As WebMD reveals, in every 7 new moms, there would be 1 who struggles with a more dramatic postpartum depression.

So for all the new moms out there, keep your eye out for hopeful, overlooked ways to make the transition easier:

1. Coffee
It’s no news that women are amazing multitaskers. Somewhere between doing your makeup while feeding your baby, you can always find a time to chug on some coffee while giving yourself an internal pep talk.

Ample amount of coffee will always help you. Truth is, coffee is good and coffee does good. It helps to connect the dots in your brain before getting onto a complex routine.

2. Remember that the beginning will be the hardest
Working while having a newborn baby is not an easy task. Everyone knows that. You must always be reminded to not beat yourself up, especially in the beginning.

Sure, the long hours of putting your baby to sleep after your work can be draggy. You won’t be the ‘master’ in the early stage. But with confidence and arsenal of tricks of the trade, you will soon be more experienced at it.

3. Be kind to yourself.
Be gentle to yourself as the old rhythms of your former life returns. There’s nothing wrong with utilising food and grocery delivery services to keep your errands at a bare minimum. Or even speaking to your boss on easing down to smaller assignments.

You’ll be suited more fine in maneuvering the inevitable obstacles that may come over the next few months by keeping your mental health a priority.

4. Do a trial run of your new morning routine before your first big day
With good morning routines come a bedrock of stability in your life, which is crucial no matter where you are or what you are up against. There will be days where you will wake up tired and miserable or end with the feeling like you didn’t accomplish what you hoped to do.

But either way, you can always end the day feeling content after knowing that you have followed through the morning routine.

So, walk through the timing and coordinating with your partner, if you have one, on who will be handling the morning routine to get your upper-hand more ready for it!

5. Don’t feel guilty if you’re excited
Returning to work after maternity leave can be overwhelming, many women admit that they cry on the day before. You will feel sad to leave your newborn, mourning to the end of that new phase of your life together with them. You will also miss the fulfilment of doing your job, especially when you love it.

But, you must know that these two feelings aren’t mutually exclusive and there’s nothing to feel guilty about.

6. Get a second set of pumping parts to leave at work for breastfeeding moms
If you’re a breastfeeding mom, this will help you big time. Get yourself a cute insulated freezer bag to bring around your pumped supply back and forth.

7. Try going back to work on a Wednesday or a week that has holiday
A bit of very wise advice is to think of it as a ‘one day at a time’ work instead of lingering the thoughts with ‘being stuck forever’ idea. Meanwhile, try to think about making it through just until the weekend. 

8. Take care of yourself
Get hydrated, breathe, and try to steal time with a few exercises per week. It’s not necessary to get into work for more than 10 hours each day. If you need to, go home early. Or cry. Sometimes, the flood of emotions, often conflicting ones, can be staggering.

Nobody has ever said that going through changes is easy. And recovery is a long road. You won’t get better overnight. But, you will gradually get better.

You might not even notice until you look back on how far you’ve come. So, good luck to all the moms out there! You’re all awesome!

Written by Mutiara


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