Joining work after having a baby is an emotional time. A baby changes your priorities are starts ruling your world. Moreover, you become accustomed to your baby’s company. When the time comes to join work, some mothers are still exhausted from those sleepless nights. A few, on the other hand, are only happy to join work as it is a known territory and they know how to excel at it. A lot of women worry about making through stressful days and sleepless nights.
Although it is an inevitable situation, you can take certain steps to ensure that your transition is a smooth one.
Try to start midweek
Starting on a Monday and going to the office for five straight days can be exhausting. Try to start on a Wednesday or Thursday so that the new routine doesn’t become too overwhelming. You will have to go only for a few days and you can test the waters. You can rest over the weekend and adjust your routine in the following week as it suits you.
Explore flexible timings
Managers are generally sympathetic to new mothers. If possible, try to work out a different schedule at your work. For instance, you can propose working half a day from the office and the remaining at your home. Or else, you can try to work from home two-three times a week. This way, you can divide your time between work and your baby without feeling guilty. Moreover, you can ensure a smoother transition of your baby to childcare.
Prepare in advance
Having a rushed morning can leave you anxious throughout the day. It will help to prepare in advance. You can plan your clothes for the entire week so that you are not rummaging through your closet at the last minute. It will also help to prepare your baby’s bag a night before to have a relaxed morning. You can also practice a dry run before the actual joining date. It will give you more clarity about the changes you will need to get through the day. For instance, you may need more time to feed your baby or may need to leave earlier to avoid traffic.
Hang in there
Your emotions could range from fear to guilt to anxiety. The first step to handling your emotions is to understand that it is all normal. You could be afraid or anxious as you are worried about your baby coping up with your absence. In reality, it is mostly the mothers who cannot handle being away from their baby. The best way to manage your emotions during such times is by being in the present and enjoying every moment with the baby. If you feel guilty, try to remember the reason why you are going back to work. It is because you are a career woman, and have built a life that you are proud of. Moreover, you are trying to set an example for your baby.
Prepare your baby
If possible, try to send your baby to the childcare a week before you join work. Your baby needs time to get comfortable with the idea of being fed by someone else. Also, try to get into the routine of pumping your breastmilk and freezing it. You will be much more relaxed knowing your baby is fine without you.
Learn to say no
Having a baby means you will have to make a few behavioral changes in your professional life. For instance, several mothers face the challenge of moving to a new role when they join work after a maternity break. If the job doesn’t suit you or seems too overwhelming at this point, you can discuss it with your HR manager. Also, try to fix your office timings and decline any extra work requests. This will save you from spending unnecessary time in the office.