Top Tips For A Successful Return To Work After Mat Leave

Returning to work after mat leave

Going back to work after maternity leave is hard! Not only do you have to trust your babies with ‘strangers’ but the overwhelming sense of ‘how will I ever do it all?!’ creeps in… How can you be the best mother if you’re juggling full time work hours, cleaning, making dinners/lunches, bath time, time to unwind (let alone shower), quality time with the kids and with the spouse?! The truth is you can’t! Prioritize and visualize your days. Sometimes I do the most basic cleanup or leave the laundry because I want to watch Successions with the hubby and that is fine! It’s healthy and your life will be richer for it.
eShakti floral dress

Us mama’s have trained for this. Unknowingly, we’ve become the best time managers, multitaskers, professional power nappers, and damn can we cook a delicious meal with a baby on our hip and a toddler elbow deep in Play-Doh.
My initial thoughts and reservations about returning to work started in May. We got daycare spots early. In our city, daycare for two kids, close to home is elusive at best so we felt stuck into taking the spaces and me returning to work sooner than expected. The tears and anxiety started immediately but so did something else… I made a choice to think of all the ways both my children and I would grow over the next year. You always hear about children learning social skills and guess what? After a year of (all consuming) kid things, I needed to flex my skills as well. I also realized that I’ve grown so much that will undoubtedly help me excel at work.
You are probably asking how I went from a blubbering mess to an excited and confident woman ready to kill it at the office? Here is how I coped:

Shift your mind. Embrace your emotions and feel all the things (guilt, shame, anxiety, etc.) and move on! Think of all the things you will now be able to do! …Hot coffee, grown up conversations, wearing jewelry, watching The Bachelorette on your lunch break… The truth is, your kids are going to be (better than) fine. They’ll have a dedicated routine that involves music, art, reading, play-based learning and well-balanced meals which will help with the guilt of last-minute mac and cheese dinners! lol

Get organized. Pre-plan as much as you can the night before to make the mornings smoother. I put out the boy’s breakfast bowls, spoons, and sippy cups so I’m not searching for missing lids, etc. I also shower at night and lay out all our clothes.
Get the husband on board. If you’re lucky, the morning routine won’t fall solely on you. Delegate and tell your partner (yes, they likely won’t know otherwise) exactly what you need from them in the morning. For instance, I lay out the clothes and Tom gets the boys dressed.

Pack snacks. Are you doing the daycare drop and pick up? I always have some rice rusks and toddler protein bars to keep them going until dinner.

 Dress the part. I work in a corporate office which means I needed to hang up my Lululemon’s and get back to business wear. I took an inventory of my wardrobe, but I really wanted to treat myself to some beautiful pieces that would boost my confidence and help me look the part, even if I wasn’t feeling it yet. One of my favorite brands is eShakti. They take your measurements and you can customize their designs. They fit the real You... the new ‘mom-bod’ You… The You that finds a dress but maybe you don’t feel comfortable showing your arms or your legs anymore. I personally like my skirts a little longer than I used to, so I just updated the design from mini to over the knee. As a shorty, I appreciate that I have to enter my height so that my over the knee is legitimately over my knee! Lol Since you can customize the neckline, length, sleeve length, etc., there’s no way you won’t feel beautiful in these designs. Confidence on day one was so important for me. Oh ya, and they all have pockets!

eShakti floral dress

Good luck and remember… you got this, Mama! And if day one totally blows, there’s always wine!

© Simplify Your Motherhood
Design:Maira Gall.