So many times, I’ve heard client’s talking about maternity leave with excitement. They talk about how they will have all that time to catch up on a project and will be able to spend quality time with their new baby and relax. The fact is, maternity leave might not be that relaxing!
I’ve seen this happen time after time, which is why I always encourage clients to have a plan. For instance, it’s helpful and beneficial to formulate a plan regarding food. One idea is to try to set up a meal train with your friends and family members, or you can pre-make food and freeze it. You might think you will have a lot of time, but remember, a newborn baby requires your attention 24/7, and after many sleepless nights the last thing you’ll want to do is cook a meal!
Aside from baby care, it is crucial to remember the necessity of mommy care. It will be important for you to not rush back into getting to pre-baby you. The fact is, you will never be pre-baby you again, and it’s not a harsh or mean thing to say. It’s a reality. Your hormones, your body, and your emotions all create a completely new you.
Take this opportunity to really bond with your baby, spend quality time with your spouse, and start the process of building the new you. For working moms this means working on the schedule, routines, and childcare options after maternity leave is over. For some it might be a few weeks, for others a few months. Either way, make sure you remember that you are building a new family foundation and new, unique you.
Use this time to identify what your priorities are. What’s most important to you about your family, job, and career? When you are ready to return to work there are many things to think about and consider:
- Will I have flexibility in my work schedule?
- If I am nursing, what are my options for pumping and milk storage?
- What are plans for childcare options?
- Do I need new professional work clothes that fit my “new” me?
When it comes to childcare options, whether you are selecting to have a family member care for your baby or are hiring a nanny, do a few trial runs for a couple of weeks or more before going back to work. This will prepare your family for the transition and will make your first week a little less overwhelming.
Remember, it takes a village to raise a child, and know that you are not supposed to do it all on your own. It’s okay to ask for help and have your partner share responsibilities. Whether it is grocery shopping or running errands, every little gesture can help in a great way.
While it’s going to be hard trying to balance it all, being a new mommy who is going back to work means you need to not forget about your self-care, and you need to make sure you carve time out for yourself. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s imperative to make sure you schedule time for yourself and wellbeing.
The first few weeks are going to be challenging. There will be a lot of adjustments, mommy guilt, and stress about returning to work. Just remember, this transitional time will be a distant memory faster than you think, and soon your routine will become easier.
Having a solid support system and a well-thought-out plan will help you work through this process, which at times can be overwhelming.
Remember, the Motherhood Center team is here for you! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for any guidance or support.