Congratulations for new beginnings, mama! This time brings a lot of unknowns and preparing yourself for space to navigate is key.
We have prepared this guide for new mothers to get organized for maternity leave. Whether you plan to return to work remotely, or in person, this is for you.
It is important to honor this transition for yourself and your family. Start with having a conversation with your employer by sharing your intentions and asking what will be expected of you.
Questions to ask your employer:
- How long is my maternity leave?
- Is there paid-time off during my leave?
- Can I extend my maternity leave?
- Will there be flexibility with half days/remote working during the transition back to work?
If you are working for yourself and have a client list, sharing your intentions and what they can expect from you is important. Make a connection between them and a member of your team who may not have been client facing until now so you can rest easy knowing the work is getting done.
It is important to collaborate with coworkers for a smooth transition for all. Thinking forward and preparing your team or clients to know what they need to be doing to keep the tasks and work productive. Be detailed and intentional with how you share. This will impact the energy of your absence and return.
Setting a boundary for your availability will allow everyone to know what to expect and leave little room for disappointment. You have created a life that needs nurturing, and yes, you yourself will need TLC too, mama. Empower yourself to know this takes time and it is okay to step away.
Child Care Rhythm
Au pair? Relative? Daycare? Forest School? Nanny Share? Is there childcare on your work premises?
What works for every family is different and truthfully you may try a few situations out before finding the one that feels right for you. It is important to have patience with yourself, partner, and child when weighing the options and making the choice.
Questions to consider:
- Will your boss accommodate you if your baby is sick?
- Is the childcare location convenient?
- What will you need to pack for your child?
- What are they teaching?
- How well do they respond to your concerns?
You are the advocate for your child therefore what feels right to you, will be right for now.
Some parents struggle with the choice more than others, know that this is okay too. We are all placed within positions of compromise and balance. If you are looking for experienced insight, join a Moms Facebook Group in your area and ask what you are curious about/for a direction to start.
Returning back to work
Stepping out of the house after the newborn phase can feel overwhelming. The amount of consideration a day takes to run smoothly is significant. From starting the day with changes, breakfast, and packing up the car can alone feel (and is) a huge accomplishment.
Being comfortable with your child care choice will alleviate the stress that can come with drop off time.
Be kind to yourself and celebrate the small wins. Ask for help when you need it and do not feel ashamed for how you feel during all of this. There is a lot going on for all of you.
Bring plenty of healthy snacks to keep your body fueled and mood stabilized at work. Hydrate with water! Take a walk when you need some fresh air. The more in tune you can be with your needs the easier it will feel for you overall. You are in a vulnerable place of healing.
Postpartum can bring many hormonal changes and mood swings. There are a lot of roles placed on the modern mother that are only honored as well as you honor yourself.
- Talk to your employer about the stipulations of your maternity leave
- Prepare your coworkers/clients for filling in your role in detail
- Consider childcare options and make a commitment
- Take care of yourself so you can take care of your baby and growing family
Have something to add from your experience? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!