If there was a fool-proof plan on how to go smoothly back to work after maternity leave with no issues, I’d write what would sure to be a bestselling book. Unfortunately, such a plan does not exist. There will be issues, and there will be lots of feelings that will likely run the gamut. As soon as you realize that every emotion you’re having is perfectly normal and fine, you’ll be all the better for it. In the meantime, though, there are a few things you can do.
While you might feel like crying as co-workers ask to see pictures of the baby and how you’re doing, relish in the coffee that will stay warm while you can actually drink it, the uninterrupted conversations you’ll get to have with other adults while contributing fantastic ideas that you came up with during the night while breastfeeding. In other words, concentrate on the positive.
Speaking of breastfeeding,
while pumping at work might sound like unpleasant, technology has made great strides in this department. Check out Willow, a wearable breast pump with no dangling bottles from your chest to further make you feel like Bessie the Cow. Thank you, modern technology!
Next, remember this:
mothers get work done. Becoming a mother only increases our ability to prioritize and get our work done and on time so we can get home to relieve a nanny or pick our child up from daycare. This essay in Fortune Magazine is a great example of mothers slaying in the workforce.
Being confident in your childcare is key to your success upon returning to work. If you know that your child is receiving excellent care, you will breathe easier and be able to focus easily while at work. It’s as simple as that.
Now, there will be ups and downs and not every day at work will be perfect (or at home, for that matter)! But give it time, mama, and you will soon have it all down to a science. As someone who’s “been there, done that” (and cried when she walked through the door at work after maternity leave), a smooth routine, job satisfaction and happy baby awaits. Good luck!