You have just gotten used to being at home with the baby, work seems so long ago. Now you realise maternity leave is nearly over, the early morning race offs and late-night crying after work seems impossible to handle. As a new mother entering into the workforce, you will be going through a period of rapid changes in emotions, and the biggest back and forth of them all being guilt: How are you going to cope with being away from your baby all day? But what about your career, in this modern era, you can’t let the challenges of motherhood jeopardize what you’ve built for yourself either?
You can think about this all day, and no matter how long you run it over in your head, you will question yourself as to whether it is the right time to be returning to work.
Here are some tips to help you adjust to the changes:
Practice the Routine
It will take a while to learn the balance of your new roles, and you will find the transition a smoother process if you organise your habits efficiently. Is there a way to ensure the work schedule will work? Try doing a few practise runs first before you are due back at work. If possible, try and get your childcare to start a week earlier than planned to see how you go getting used to being apart from the baby. You will need time to adjust so it’s a good idea to set your alarm earlier than for regular workdays to allow time for any issues that you mightn’t have foreseen in the schedule.
Rest and Nap Whenever You Can
One of the most challenging things about being a working mum is knowing when to rest. When you are overworked, the sheer exhaustion can cause even the best of mums to fall into pieces. New mothers tend to do another load of laundry or clean up the kitchen instead of getting some much-needed rest. Have your husband, housemate or even the kids if they are older to pitch in and help out. If possible, look to hire a newborn care specialist for chores and baby needs help in the first two months. Try and get the baby in a routine sleep pattern so you can get to bed earlier if you need to wake up early for work.
Mummy Groups Catchup
You have made some new friends while you were on maternity leave. It can be easy to put friendships on the back burner when you get back to work. Truth is new mums, do need emotional support; this is not the same support from your husband or own mother, but other new mums in the same position as you. Where you find yourself getting frustrated with your husband’s misunderstanding or mother’s having too much to say in how you are raising your child, you’ll find comfort and solace in your other mummy friends. If you are looking at keeping fit, consider getting yourself and friends into a fitness group designed for mums and their babies. Having a mummy group is also beneficial to keep you in the loop on all the current trends in baby care, recommendations for finding a suitable nanny and share each other’s newborn experiences in support.
Just Hang in There
The first few months back on the job, you will encounter days when you cannot cope and are ready to quit. When this feeling pops up, know that this is normal for the adjustment period, and stick with it a little longer to see improvements kick in.
Experts state that mums need time to adjust to their new routine. After a few months if the struggle is still real, then you may be able to ask your boss for a flexible schedule where you can work from home one day a week. Another option is to consider cutting a few days and sticking with part-time work until you get into the gist and feel you can handle full-time employment. Not everyone has a flexible and willing to compromise boss. If they are not willing to compromise with you, then it may be time to consider moving jobs or doing something different that is more suited to what works for you and your family.