Returning to Work After Maternity Leave Part I

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

 

One of the most emotional transitions that a new mom makes is leaving her tiny newborn in the arms of another to return to work after maternity leave. As a Certified Baby Planner, I help moms ease those back-to-work fears by offering advice on what to expect the first few weeks back at the office and how to find the best caregivers for their babies. The more you plan in advance, the more relaxed your entire family will be when your return to work happens.

First of all, it is important to remember that each of us has our unique calling from God. While you are called as mother, His plan for you may also include working outside of the home. A motto that I love to live by is that “The safest place to be is in the center of God’s will.”

Leaving your baby in the care of another is a tough transition, and doubt can certainly plague you during those first few weeks. However, if you believe you are doing God’s will, you must ask Him to take away your doubt and help you to adjust to a new routine. A mom who stays home full time with her baby may be pulled in so many directions with housework, child care, and daily activities that she spends less quality time with her child than a mother who works outside of the home for eight hours a day. The key in both situations is time management.

By the middle of your third trimester, know exactly when you will return to work. Be sure that you understand your company’s maternity leave policy and how you will be paid. Decide your method of child care for when you return to work, and at least have your options narrowed down to two or three before your baby is born. In other words, if you are hiring a nanny, start interviewing or at least working with a domestic agency before your baby arrives. If day care is your choice, take the tours while you are pregnant. Why? So that you don’t spend your maternity leave preparing for going back to work. That time should be spent bonding with your baby. If you want to see how your baby responds to a caregiver or a day care, then narrow down to two or three choices so that the bulk of the research and interviewing is done before the birth. Once your baby arrives, you can take a day to see his reactions to your final choices of nannies or day cares and make your decision.

Questions to Consider When Returning to Work After Maternity Leave:

  • Who will be taking care of Baby?
  • Will you hire someone to help with housework?
  • Will you continue to breastfeed?
  • If so, does your company have pumping rooms?
  • Do you have a breast pump, supplies, and ice packs for milk storage at the office?
  • Will your company allow any flexibility to give you more time with Baby- work from home some days, half-day Friday, etc.?
  • Can you set your first day back at work date to later in the week to ease the transition?
  • What is your backup plan in case the caregiver or baby is sick?
  • What will your morning schedule be? (Getting Baby and yourself ready for the day)
  • How will you relax in the evening?

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