Hey mamma, if you’re heading back to work soon, the first thing I want to tell you is – you’ve got this! Remember when you first had your babe, and there were all those moments of thinking “How will I ever be able to do this?!” And then at some point, you were that mom pulling it off, whether it was getting out for a walk, nursing in public, traveling on a plane or eating at a restaurant, all with babe in tow…And yes, this new chapter is without your little one right by your side, but you’ll manage this too.
There is no shortage of things to consider as you prepare to transition back to work. This shortlist of tips focuses on you and is meant to help you plan for a first week back that is a little more supported and a little less overwhelming.
Five ways for moms to get ready to go back to work
Get your work wardrobe ready
While some moms do an incredible job of staying stylish while on maternity leave, I will fully admit that bun hair, stretch pants, nursing tanks, and oversized tops made up my awesome (read: practical) mat leave style.
If you were like me, take 30 minutes to remind yourself of what is work appropriate for your particular job and pull those items out of the closet for easy access. A quick try on to make sure you are comfortable in how things fit, or deciding you need to do a quick run to the mall for some new gear will go a long way in having you feel ready to rock week one.
Plan for easy dinner options
Dinner as a family may feel especially important this week as you transition to your new schedule, so keep things simple. Whether this means pulling from your frozen meal supply or speed dialing your favourite take out place, avoid anything with lengthy prep time or too much clean up. Use the extra time to be with your little one, catch up with your partner and get to bed early to re-charge, if possible.
Resist packing your schedule with plans
Eventually you’ll want to find a good balance between self, family and work plans, but to start go light on filling your calendar to the brim. Anticipate that in the beginning you’ll want to soak up as much time with your little as you can, which means maximizing early mornings, evenings pre-bedtime and your especially coveted weekends.
Pro tip: Keep in mind your little’s schedule may be a bit off with the changes too, so less plans means more opportunity to go with the flow.
Connect with another (working) mom
Even if you feel ready to be heading back to work, there’s bound to be a lot of different feelings that come up as you settle back in. Connecting with another working mom, in or out of your workplace, can offer great moral support. A quick chat or even set of text messages can be enough to remind you that you’re not alone on this journey of being a #workingmom.
Allow yourself to feel all the feels
Lastly, whatever your feelings are as you return to work – allow yourself this time to feel them. Going back to work can bring about amazing feelings of productivity, motivation and accomplishment. At the same, there can be guilt, exhaustion, and even disappointment.
Going back to work is no small transition, so give yourself time to ease back into things and don’t place too many expectations on how you should be feeling.
There’s not one perfect way to prepare to become a mom and the same goes for preparing to be a working mom. We’re all different mammas, and so this stage looks and feels a little different for everyone. If you’re feeling nervous, just remember all the challenges you overcame this past year, and be confident that before you know it, you’ll find your groove in this new chapter too.
For you moms who have been here and done that, what are your tips to make week one a win?