Let’s be honest, motherhood is one giant, fast moving roller coaster full of twists and turns. One minute you’re riding high on the fact that your little one only woke up twice in the middle of the night while the next minute you’re literally on the floor wiping up the spilled bottle of breast milk you worked so hard on the night before. Flipping thru social media, you can easily get the ‘this is easy’ vibe from other new moms. They often will share pictures that should be on the cover of Parenting, a note that their amazing bundle of joy just slept for nine hours straight at the age of three weeks, and other rainbows and butterflies moments. While motherhood creates its fair share of rainbow experiences, it can also deal out an equal amount of unforeseen stress. The most important thing to know – all new moms are going through it with you.
For working moms, returning to work isn’t a cake walk either. Whether this is your first baby or your fourth (God bless you), getting back into the working world means adjusting your vocabulary to adult conversations, waking up extra early for routine showers, and saying goodbye to those cozy sweatpants…at least during the week. Figuring out a way to successfully multi-task work and home life is no easy feat, but here are some tips on how to make the transition back to work a tad bit easier.
1. Plan the night before.
You may not be able to control the traffic that morning or if your toddler decides to have a full-blown meltdown while brushing his teeth, but you can carve out just a little bit of time the night before in order to plan ahead for the next day. (This is done mainly to avoid having a meltdown of your own.) Yes, you will be tired but setting aside 10 minutes after the kid(s) go down to review logistics for the next day is key to having a successful morning. With clothes already laid out and bottles prepared the night before, you will be saving yourself both time and stress from having to rush around the house in full panic mode your first day back.
2. Say yes to attending work dinners.
Repeat after me, “I will not feel guilty about spending time away from my kid(s).” Taking time for yourself means stepping away from the responsibilities at home and enjoying a night out. Plus, it’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy that nice glass of wine while reconnecting with your fellow colleagues and business partners.
3. Get back to traveling for business only when you’re ready.
Yes, your clients and colleagues missed you while you were on maternity leave, but they should also understand if you’re not 100 percent ready to pack your bags and visit them as soon as you return from leave. Take advantage of scheduling virtual meetings to re-engage with your clients and peers. It’s important not only to you but to your family to make sure everyone is comfortable with you reclaiming your road warrior status.
4. Focus on your comfort, not pride when it comes to wardrobe.
Invest in good concealer and quit worrying about when your pre-maternity clothes will fit again. The name of the game is comfort. Your body took nine months to grow a human so don’t be surprised when it doesn’t automatically bounce back to pre-baby weight six weeks after giving birth. (Only Gisele does that – sigh)
5. Start back midweek – if you can.
The first week back is always exhausting. While it’s great to catch up with colleagues and share baby pictures once back in the office, your body is probably still running on little to no sleep – meaning you aren’t performing at your max. Try starting back on either a Wednesday or Thursday if you can. The perks are that you’re that much closer to the weekend and you can use the weekend to reflect on what to tweak before your first full week back.
Most importantly, give yourself a break. Juggling motherhood is tough but the skill-sets you learn through your ability to multi-task will only benefit you in the long run. Stay strong, mama! Keep smiling and remember to take lots of pictures. The days are long but the years are short. Enjoy!