Let’s talk about returning to work after maternity leave. There are things you can do to make this transition a little easier. I have been working with parents for around 14 years so I understand the dynamics in the family home particularly those returning to work.
Here are some of my top tips.
- If it’s possible, start with 1,2 or 3 days. It will give you and your babe time to adjust.
- Plan ahead what are the things that you can be doing even before you go back to work to help ease that transition. It may be things like organising a cleaner if you can afford to. Pre-freezing some meals or buying some pre done to freeze.
- Trialling a daycare and making sure you have the right fit.
- Working out the best route and routine in the morning or the evening before to help prepare. Try this before you head back.
Sleep has such a big impact when it comes to successful transitions back into work for both partners and your little one.
Having solid sleep allows everyone to function at their best including your little one to cope with their days and ensure their immunity has a good shot especially if they are going into daycare. You will also have less worry around how somebody else is going to get your little one off to sleep.
Remember what I say about bedtime routines — don’t get too caught up in lengthy ones or ritualistic ones. If you can’t bath everyday bath every second day (particularly on day care days). Or do a shower in the morning for example.
Do the one minuters as as you go along. What can you do that will take one minute that will significantly reduce the load as you go along. Can you fill the sink with water and wash as you go along or empty the dishwasher at a certain time so as you’re cooking or unpacking bags you can just stack and go. The rest of the cleaning and unpacking from the day I wouldn’t worry about until your little one is down. You don’t have to have everything sorted before your babe goes down. When you concentrate on that once they are asleep it won’t take you long but if you try and juggle it all when they are awake you will miss that time with them. Plus it’ll feel like an extra load on top of having to get them into bed.
My last tips are:
- Do you have a family member that can come and help for the first week or two when you transition back into work. Just while you’re finding your feet. Or backup friend or family.
- Lessen your loads on non work days and the weekend. When you guys are just returning to work it is really important to make sure you have boundaries set to ensure you don’t have extra pressures that you don’t need. Schedule down days, days were you and bub can stay in your pyjamas for longer in the morning. Don’t add to the juggle.
- Be sure your work team and of course employer know exactly where you are at. Yes you are capable of returning to work and fulfilling that role but cut yourself some slack. Be vulnerable where you need to explain how things are going and where you are at.
- Do you have the ability to get a meal service for a little while be that something like hello fresh or prepackaged meals that sit in the freezer for the times that you’re stuck
- Pop things down on a visible calendar so that they are out of your mind. This way it also allows you and your partner to be on the same page with what’s going on this week.
- Finally – Shop online, do a cull of clutter in the house before you go back to work, a fresh start. Outsource house duties if you are able to.