Returning to work after having your first child can leave you with conflicting emotions. You might feel distressed, sad, or even slightly relieved at the thought of leaving your baby as you once again pursue your career. These feelings are entirely normal. In fact, as a career woman turned new mom, you can have the best of both worlds. With the following tips, you can learn how to adjust to your new normal, overcome the challenges of going back to work, ease the transition for your baby, and stay organized as you put on your career woman stilettos and your career mom hat.
Overcoming the Challenges of Going Back to Work After Becoming a New Mom
There are many challenges that new moms face when they go back to work. The good news is that the following three tips can ease your transition back into office life.
Tip #1. Make A Logistics Plan.
As you begin to prepare to go back to work, your morning and evening routines will need to change. Before you become stressed at the thought of executing a new routine, you should take a deep breath and make a logistics plan. Your plan should include the following components.
- Determine how long it will take you to get ready in the morning.
- Leave extra time to get your baby dressed in the morning. Accidents and leaky diapers are common causes for delay.
- Decide how you will drive to work (and if applicable daycare). Practice the route to discover if there is a faster option in the morning vs the evening.
- Pack the day bag the night before, so that it is ready to go in your car in the morning. If you have hired in-home care, then make this task one of your nanny’s responsibilities, so that you have a moment to breathe at the end of the day.
- Make a schedule for when you are at work that will include time to pump (if applicable).
Once you have made your logistics plan, you should practice it so that you can iron out any of the kinks before you head back to work.
Tip #2. Bring Your Child to Work on A Test Run.
Many new moms are worried about leaving their babies when they return to work. Bring your baby with you to work before you officially return. You can re-familiarize yourself with the workplace, introduce your child to your colleagues, and calm any emotional stress that you have about returning to work. By blending your career woman and career mom worlds, you can be better prepared for your new normal. It will even give you a chance to bond with your colleagues on an entirely new level.
Tip #3. Get as Much Rest As You Can.
Sheer exhaustion is a common challenge for new moms. In fact, it might make you feel as if you once again have pregnancy brain. This challenge can be overcome with a few helpful steps.
- Ask your partner, family, and close friends for their help.
- Don’t try to do that extra load of laundry if it means that you will lose out on sleep.
- Try to relax or meditate before bed, so that you can get a better night’s rest.
- Head to bed early, especially if you will be getting up early in the morning.
- Avoid caffeine and heavy meals that can lead to restless nights.
Make the Transition Easier on You and Your Newborn
You can make the transition easier on you and your child by trying out your new morning routine before you go back to work. You might decide to run through the routine on the day that you bring your child to the office to meet your colleagues. If you have decided to skip daycare in favor of in-home care, then you should practice the new arrangement before heading back to work. On the first day you can stay at home, so that your child can get used to the new helper. The next day, you might try running an errand for an hour or two. By easing into the new arrangement, you can give your child a chance to adjust to the new person in his or her life.
If you are planning on pumping, then you should start pumping before you head back to work. This strategy will help you to get in the habit of pumping, build up your emergency supply, and get your child used to feeding from a bottle. It is a good idea to have someone else feed your child his or her bottle, so that the transition isn’t as hard.
Finally, if you can, you should try to ease your way back into work. Whether it is starting on a Thursday, or only working part-time for the first month, easing back into work can make the transition significantly easier for both you and your child. It also gives you a chance to solidify your new routine, reduce stress, and keep it together without being overwhelmed.
Keeping It Together Without Becoming Overwhelmed
Heading back to work after becoming a new mom might make you feel like a bit of a wreck. No matter what you are feeling, it is important that you follow a few steps to keep from being overwhelmed.
- Use checklists to stay on top off your work game.
- Recognize that your new status as a career mom might have given you a whole new set of skills.
- Learn when you need to vent, and when it’s best to leave your concerns to yourself.
- Be open, honest, and appreciative of all that you do. A little self-love can help you cope when things seem overwhelming.
- Schedule reminders and use helpful apps to stay healthy by drinking and eating right.
- Take a break during the day to reduce stress levels. Whether it is looking at photos, walking outside, or even doing five minutes of yoga, breaks are vital for your mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
The Bottom Line: You Can Successfully Navigate the Transition From New Mom Back To The Boardroom
Through the above tips and advice, you can and will successfully navigate the transition from new mom back to the boardroom. If you need a bit of additional advice, be sure to speak with your trusted OBGYN. Your OBGYN will have been there for you before, during, and after your pregnancy to help you successfully navigate your new normal. Dr. Kristine Eule at Denver Tech Center OBGYN is now accepting new patients. Please call for an appointment. 303-770 – 0665.