Whether you have 8 weeks or 6 months, it’s important as a new mother to make the most of your maternity leave. But what does that really mean?
#1 Bond with your baby
It can take real work to make the adjustment to a different pace of life. After all, your time is now dictated by a tiny human being that was inside of you a few weeks ago. You might wake up the first morning from the hospital and not know what to do with yourself. The answer is chill. This is not the time to remodel your house or start your own business. Get to know the tiny person. Try to understand their signals for hungry, tired, scared and content. Get on their rhythm and embrace the cliché of sleeping when the baby sleeps. Take naps. Lots of guilt-free naps. Learn everything about your baby. In a year, you won’t believe how small they were then, how different they look, and what a crazy beautiful time it was.
#2 Embrace Radical Self Care
There may not be as much time once you are back in the office for doctor’s appointments. If there is something lingering for you or baby, get it addressed. Then take the self care even further.
#3 Prep yourself for work
Going back to work can be an emotional and logistical puzzle. So it is necessary that you take steps to ease the transition. And this means taking small steps from the very beginning.
First of all, focus on you. You might want to start on a manageable exercise regime to get your body back to shape after resting for a period. Do you have work clothes that fit your new body? If you can’t face the shopping malls, try your luck online. If you are on a budget, try the online used markets. Your body may still be changing so only buy a few items that make you feel good to get you through.
Are you emotionally ready to return to work? See if you can find something work related to get excited about, whether it’s a project or finally seeing co-workers again. If it just doesn’t feel right to come back yet, have an honest conversation with your boss. You may be able to negotiate a little more time off, even if it is unpaid.
When you are three-quarter through your maternity, start focusing a little more on your workspace. If you need to pump breast milk, you may want to speak with your boss and HR about providing a space and time to do so. You will also need access to a refrigerator or bring your own cooler to store milk.
Finally, get your family ready. Try having a childcare dry run for your helper or childcare facility. Have a dry run yourself by going through all the motions of getting ready in the morning. It might help if your first day spending a solid chunk of time away from baby isn’t your first day back in the office.
#4 Drop the guilt
Being a mom isn’t easy. Be confident that whatever decision you make regarding your work is the right one for your family. Getting rid of the guilt is essential in helping you better enjoy the family time you have.
Prepare ahead for your child for a guilt-free parenting journey. Speak with a representative and receive a 24-piece diaper pack as our little gift to you when you sign up here!