Maternity Leave – 5 Practical Steps to Make Returning to Work Easier

Returning back to work after being on maternity leave is a daunting experience. I fully enjoyed both my maternity leaves and being a stay at home mom for that time. I must admit I was happy to join the world of work again.

However, there were challenges integrating back into work and the below steps helped me to ease back into things.

Further Reading: Pumping Breast Milk at Work: The Law and What Moms Have To Say

Here are 5 practical tips to make integrating back to work easier.

back to work from maternity leave

Have a 1:1 with your manager before your official return

It is useful to take a touch point before your return to work, in order to understand how the team and work allocations have evolved in your absence. Schedule a 30 minute coffee catch up a few weeks before your return to check in with your manager and/ or colleagues.

[bctt tweet=”Schedule a 30 minute coffee catch up a few weeks before your return to check in with your manager and/ or colleagues” username=”cherralle_”]

Do a few test runs before you actually return to work

During both my maternity leaves, I actively started spending short amounts of time away from home from about two to three weeks before returning to work. This allowed my helper and the babies space to bond without me mothering around. It also helped me and the babies get use to being away from each other. And… I got a whole lot of free time to relax and have some me time.

Take a lead role in planning your work life integration

Returning from maternity leave means that your life style has changed. This has a definitive impact on how you manage your time and energy between work and home.  If you don’t plan your life and work, it will be planned for you.

Be firm with boundaries, and be flexible when you are able to. What works for me is that on a daily basis I have a recurring block out in my diary between 16h00 – 17h00. This helps me to consolidate my last hour at work, and also limits me being pulled into last minute meetings that run over. I am flexible around it of course, but I have had zero issues in the last 3 years of doing this.

Further Reading: Bye Bye Mommy Guilt, Why You Should Feel Proud of Being a Working Mom

Don’t be so hard on yourself

Accept that it will be difficult to figure out your new lifestyle with work.

You are no longer the person you were before. There will be lots and lots of mommy guilt that you may feel around leaving your child, and lots of ‘career guilt’ as you feel you are just not as available anymore. No special formula exists, just figure out what works for you and be intentional about it.

[bctt tweet=”There will be lots of mommy guilt once you return to work from maternity, don’t be so hard on yourself” username=”cherralle_”]

Talk to other moms

We are all in trying to make this thing called ‘motherhood’ work.

Motherhood is the most beautiful thing in this world to me, but its also terrifying, and kids can be annoying.

I have come to realise that moms face similar challenges, we just need to talk to each other about it. [bctt tweet=”Parenting is not a science, it is about doing the best we can to love and protect our families.” username=”cherralle_”]

Did I miss anything? What made your integration back to work after maternity leave easier?

Further Reading: {Working Mom Hack} 7 Tips to Get More Time for Yourself and Your Family

To my husband on father’s day

I am always talking about how wonderful and cute my kids are. So today for father’s day I want to  dedicate this post to my husband who is kinda awesome too.

here goes…

When we met I knew you would be an incredible father, although I did not know how much I would love you for it. Even then, you believed in family values and I was sort of overwhelmed.

 

It was a bit too intense for me then. I am glad you are the one I chose to build a family with, and here is why.

 

new baby, father, father's day

You are the foundation of our family and I appreciate all you do for me and our girls.

You constantly go above and beyond for our family, making sure we are well looked after in every way, especially by being present. Watching you with the kids, I can see that being a father to our girls is a role you take very seriously and  that you take pride in.

I can see that they bring you so much joy and you bring to them.

When one of the girls are up in the night, you are there without (much 🙂 ) complaining.

When the kids are sick and need to see the doctor or we need a quick prescription, you quickly sort it out. You always take Caitlyn for swimming or play games outside, you gladly take her. When I need to work late you are there, you are always there without complaints. And I thank you for being there, for me and our girls in all the ways.

I love you Zane, and thank you for sharing this journey called parenthood with me.

Fathers day - daughter and dad

Father's day - daughter and father
Source: i-Stock