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The Postpartum Blog

Returning to Work After Maternity Leave

Returning to work after your maternity leave is like navigating a rollercoaster of challenges and emotions. You're not just figuring out life away from your baby, but also reacquainting yourself with work's demands. Emotions may be up and down and many mothers will experience:

Anxiety
The prospect of leaving your baby in someone else's care and managing the demands of work can be anxiety-inducing. You may worry about how your child will adjust to the separation. You may worry about how
you will adjust to the separation!

Guilt
Feelings of guilt are common when returning to work. Mothers often question whether they are making the right choice for their child, fearing they may miss out on important moments.

Sadness
Leaving your baby behind can trigger feelings of sadness. Knowing your baby is getting more independent is bittersweet. It's entirely normal to experience a sense of loss during this transition.

Overwhelm
Balancing the responsibilities of work and motherhood can be overwhelming. You may worry about how you'll manage it all.

Ambivalence
Some women experience mixed emotions, feeling both excited to return to work and sad about leaving their child. This ambivalence can be confusing.

Blog Photos Instagram Post Postpartum Counselling Centre

While no one can change how you feel, we've put together some tips that can help make the transition of returning to work after your maternity leave a little easier.

  1. Get ahead by planning: Prep yourself before the big return by sorting out childcare and logistics. Whether it's picking a daycare, hiring a nanny, or coordinating with relatives, having a solid game plan can melt away some of that anxiety and make the shift smoother.
  2. Talk it out with your boss: Have a heart-to-heart with your boss about your fresh-mom status. From flexible hours and a pumping nook to a gentle reintroduction to work, let them know what you need.
  3. Easy does it: No need to sprint back into work like you're in a race. Think about easing in with a phased return. Start with a few days each week and then gradually pick up the pace. This slow and steady approach can make the change less overwhelming.
  4. Draw the line: Work-life balance is your new mantra. Set boundaries like leaving on time, going email-free after work hours, and reserving weekends for family escapades.
  5. You first, Supermom: Amid all this, don't forget yourself. Exercise, me-time, and hanging out with your squad are self-care essentials.
  6. Join the Mom Squad: Reach out to fellow working moms for that warm sense of belonging. Seek out local mom groups, dive into online chats, or just strike up conversations with fellow working moms at your workplace.
  7. Hugs for you: Embrace the truth—this transition is a biggie. It's absolutely okay to feel like you're on an emotional rollercoaster. Cut yourself some slack and give yourself all the patience you deserve while stepping into this new adventure.

Yes, stepping back into work after maternity leave can be a wild ride, but with a dash of planning and some self-love sprinkled in, it can be a journey to remember. Keep the communication lines open, set those boundaries, and remember, you've got this! If you are looking for more support, please reach out anytime.

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Returning to Work After Maternity Leave

By: Laura Brunskill MSW, RSW
October 4, 2023

Returning to work after your maternity leave is like navigating a rollercoaster of challenges and emotions. You're not just figuring out life away from your baby, but also reacquainting yourself with work's demands. Emotions may be up and down and many mothers will experience:

Anxiety
The prospect of leaving your baby in someone else's care and managing the demands of work can be anxiety-inducing. You may worry about how your child will adjust to the separation. You may worry about how
you will adjust to the separation!

Guilt
Feelings of guilt are common when returning to work. Mothers often question whether they are making the right choice for their child, fearing they may miss out on important moments.

Sadness
Leaving your baby behind can trigger feelings of sadness. Knowing your baby is getting more independent is bittersweet. It's entirely normal to experience a sense of loss during this transition.

Overwhelm
Balancing the responsibilities of work and motherhood can be overwhelming. You may worry about how you'll manage it all.

Ambivalence
Some women experience mixed emotions, feeling both excited to return to work and sad about leaving their child. This ambivalence can be confusing.

Blog Photos Instagram Post Postpartum Counselling Centre

While no one can change how you feel, we've put together some tips that can help make the transition of returning to work after your maternity leave a little easier.

  1. Get ahead by planning: Prep yourself before the big return by sorting out childcare and logistics. Whether it's picking a daycare, hiring a nanny, or coordinating with relatives, having a solid game plan can melt away some of that anxiety and make the shift smoother.
  2. Talk it out with your boss: Have a heart-to-heart with your boss about your fresh-mom status. From flexible hours and a pumping nook to a gentle reintroduction to work, let them know what you need.
  3. Easy does it: No need to sprint back into work like you're in a race. Think about easing in with a phased return. Start with a few days each week and then gradually pick up the pace. This slow and steady approach can make the change less overwhelming.
  4. Draw the line: Work-life balance is your new mantra. Set boundaries like leaving on time, going email-free after work hours, and reserving weekends for family escapades.
  5. You first, Supermom: Amid all this, don't forget yourself. Exercise, me-time, and hanging out with your squad are self-care essentials.
  6. Join the Mom Squad: Reach out to fellow working moms for that warm sense of belonging. Seek out local mom groups, dive into online chats, or just strike up conversations with fellow working moms at your workplace.
  7. Hugs for you: Embrace the truth—this transition is a biggie. It's absolutely okay to feel like you're on an emotional rollercoaster. Cut yourself some slack and give yourself all the patience you deserve while stepping into this new adventure.

Yes, stepping back into work after maternity leave can be a wild ride, but with a dash of planning and some self-love sprinkled in, it can be a journey to remember. Keep the communication lines open, set those boundaries, and remember, you've got this! If you are looking for more support, please reach out anytime.

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