As we specialize in photographing newborns, babies and families, we see a lot of the long, sad face. If you’re a mama ready to go back to work from maternity leave, you know what I’m talking about. That feeling that the clock is ticking. It may even be a little unexpected. New moms that used to be quite career oriented can find themselves longing to nest a little longer. Here are 6 ways to help with return to work anxiety.
1. The time is not here yet. Live in the now. Don’t think into the future. It robs you of the time you have right now. One of my favourite authors on living NOW is Eckhart Tolle. I was introduced to his book “The Power of Now” quite a few years ago and it changed my life. If you are looking for a good summer read, pick it up.
2. What’s for dinner? That dreaded question. It doesn’t get any easier when you go back to work. Plan ahead now while you have some free time. Check into some crockpot and freezer meals you can make now that will get you through that first transition month. A little planning will go a long way. That way you have more free time to spend with your little one when you do get home.
3. Ease in to your back to work week. Try to schedule your return day for Wednesday or Thursday so you only work a few days then off. It will help curb your anxiety. If your job allows, try a modified work schedule for a few weeks. Maybe job sharing is a good option for you.
4. Look for the positive. You are about to gain back some big people time. Spending the first year with your new baby is a gift. There is no doubt about it. But, it generally doesn’t leave a lot of time for adult interaction. Focus on some great conversations you are going to have when you return. Or maybe book a reservation at your favourite restaurant for a “catch up” lunch with long missed co-workers. The littlest reminders of your life back then will go a long way.
5. Write a packing list. Once you know you have everything on it, have it laminated. It can include things like bottles, diapers, wipes, tylenol, anything the caregiver may need. Don’t forget about yourself and your own list. Keys and passes for work, your lunch. This will make your morning much easier when you don’t need to remember each item.
6. Do a dry run. If you can, have your child start into their daycare a few days early. It will give you the chance to get your routine in order. See what works and what doesn’t. Add to your lists. Use the extra time to go buy an outfit for your first day back. You deserve it.
And above all, Don’t judge yourself too harshly. Transitioning back into work will not be easy. But it will be worth it. Try to curb you mommy guilt by reminding yourself that you need some time to yourself if you want to become a great mother.