When you waddled out of work to start your maternity leave, you were an expectant mom. So much happens between embarking on maternity leave and returning to work. You now have a little human to take care of, and you are now a working parent.
You will face new challenges as you move from maternity leave to working mom.
Some are emotional, and some are purely logistical. Considering childcare, pick ups and drop-offs, time management, expressing at work (if you plan to).
On the emotional side, you will experience a whole new level of mom guilt and a new dimension to your relationship with partner, family, and friends.
You will be better, you will be more focused and more intentional. However, it is essential to acknowledge that moving from maternity leave to working mom will require a different approach.
From Maternity Leave to Working Mom
While on maternity leave, take time for yourself
While you are on maternity leave, ensure that you take downtime for yourself. Even if it is for a few short hours. Go hole up somewhere with a good book, or get your hair done. Whatever helps you feel refreshed.
Prep early for childcare arrangements
Start early preparing your childcare arrangements. If you are hiring a nanny, have a nanny from as early as possible. If you are scouting daycare centers, start soon enough so that you can get your first choice.
If you are planning on hiring a nanny, here are a few useful articles:
- Leaving Your Baby With Your Nanny for the First Time: Tips to Ease The Anxiety
- Why a Baby Care Journal is so Important When Leaving Your Baby With Your Nanny
Make your partner a real partner
Bringing a baby into your home will shift the dynamic of the relationship with your partner. As a woman who has the maternity leave, you will at this point, be the primary caregiver. However, there are ways to make your partner a real partner. Think about what makes sense in your environment and if need be have an open discussion.
Here are a few simple ideas:
- Let your partner do his thing. Unless something is drastically wrong, don’t correct him. Encourage him.
- Your partner can bathe the baby at night and take part fully in the bedtime routine.
- Prepare and give bottles at night.
- If you are breastfeeding, your partner can do the wrap up after you have breastfed (e.g., burp, change nappy, put down to sleep).
Do a test run of your situation a week or two before your maternity leave ends.
Start spending short bouts of time away from your baby. One or two hours. Especially if you have a nanny. It will allow:
- Your nanny to form a bond with your baby.
- Your nanny’s confidence will grow.
- Your baby will also get a little use to having you not around.
I know this will be hard to hear. Depending on your work situation, you will be away from your baby up to eight hours a day. Therefore, your baby must develop a strong bond with your nanny.
While on maternity leave start building a gentle routine
Whether you will be home with your baby, or returning to work, creating a healthy, realistic routine will work wonders for you and your baby. A routine can be as simple as implementing a bedtime routine of bath, feed, story, songs, and bed.
Also, keep an eye on your baby’s awake times, as it will assist you to build a sensible routine. Using a Baby Journal to keep track of your baby’s sleep and feeding throughout the day will enable you to build a routine. Plus, it will open up communication between you and your nanny.
Here are a few useful articles relating to baby routines:
- Sample Routine for Your 3 – 6 Month Old
- Why It’s a Good Idea to Establish a Baby Sleep Routine from the Start
- 4 Reasons Keeping a Baby Tracking Journal is Good Idea
It is important to take your own time to transition into your new role as a working mom. Do what works for you and you will figure it out.
Please share these tips from maternity leave to working mom!