Returning to Work after Maternity Leave
Planning Your Return
Six weeks? Ten weeks? Twelve weeks? How can a new mom know she's ready to return to work?
Proper planning can help you choose the best back-to-work date for you and your family. First, try to anticipate how much time you'll need (and how much time you'll get) to the best of your ability. Talk to other working mothers. Review your eligibility under your employer's Maternity Leave policy and your personal financial situation to assess not only when but how you'll return to work.
Whenever (and however) you choose to return to work, remember that even the most meticulous planning cannot account for emotions.
Getting Back on Track
Once you do return to work, have a strategy in place to get back up to speed - without getting overwhelmed.
If you stay in the loop throughout your maternity leave, it may make your return that much easier.
Handling the Nuts and Bolts
You can help create a smooth transition back to work by ironing out the mechanics of what you'll need to balance being a mom with being a professional. But only you know that, so speak up.
That includes everything you need to continue breast-feeding, if you choose to do so. Make sure you've got refrigeration available if you need it. Consider how convenient your clothing is for pumping during work hours.
Flexible work options can help new mothers meet the challenges of breast-feeding.
Be sure to carefully plan your daycare, too. Test the daycare centre you choose for a week before you return to work.
Get Ready for Guilt
A new mom can feel guilty for leaving her baby. Or guilty for enjoying the fact that she's back at work. This is normal – and you will find your own way to deal with it. Balancing work life and personal life can often be a challenge, so acknowledge this and find the best methods that work for you.