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Back to Work Mama: 12 Tips for Going Back After Maternity Leave

I don’t know about you, but I left my newborn a total of 5 times in her three and a half months of life. On all circumstances I fed her, ran out to do an errand, and ran back for her next feed. While I was gone, I remember my heart beating just thinking about what she was doing and if she missed me. Worst of all, my heart hurt because I missed her incredibly! I didn’t know how I was going to go back to work without breaking down, so weeks prior I started planning for a smooth transition. 

work mama

Now I’ve been back at work for two weeks now, and it’s been an incredible adjustment. I feel that with the following tips and a positive attitude, any mom can go back to work like a true professional. 

Have Your Work Bag Ready

work bag mama

For the past three months your purse has been a diaper bag. Get yourself a nice new purse or clean out an old one. This is a good time to make sure you have your favorite lippie and gum pack!
 Have Your Pumping Bag Ready

work mama

Do you have you have everything you might need in your pump bag? Extra pump parts? Bottles? Cloth to catch drips? Car charger? I watched this video and it helped me organize it altogether. 

Set your Work Ready Clothes to the Side

work mama

A week before I had to go back to work, I sifted through every single item in my closet. I tried on most of it, noticed 4/5th’s of it wasn’t fitting, and gave up on it completely. I was so sad to see that I didn’t have any clothes that fit my post baby body! I like to look good at work, so I went on a mini shopping spree. I ordered flattering dresses on Amazon, checked out thrift stores, and Marshalls/TJMaxx. I had a total of 9 outfits I could wear to work, and I was fine with that until I could start getting back into my normal work clothes. It gave me the confidence I needed to go back to work looking professional and well-put together. 

Check in With Work 1-2 Weeks Before

work mama

This can be in the form of going in personally to speak to your Supervisor, meet with your team, or catch up on your emails. Get connected before your first day, so it doesn’t all come at you as a shock.  

Get Yourself Done Up

work mama

I was dragged out of the house the weekend before by one of my mommy friends to have a pamper day. She realized how important it is to take care of yourself to feel good about yourself, but all I wanted to do that day was stay in and cuddle my sunshine. In hindsight, the nails, wax, and massage made me more like woman and not just a mama. Are you still not wanting to go out? Try out a new nail polish at home and one of those Korean face masks you have tucked away somewhere. 

Find and Trust Childcare

work mama

My very own daughter is unsure.

This was most important to me, because I felt like I was so much more at ease knowing my baby was in good hands. We have grandparents switching off each week looking after her, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I realize that they will not raise my baby how I do, but that is okay, because they will just do it another way. I won’t sit here pretending I am the only with all of the answers. They love her so much, and they will take care of her how they can.  

Prepare Meals Ahead of Time

work mama

My family loves to eat, but not to eat out. Eating in has always helped us save money, so we didn’t want to lose on this money saving option. I was hesitant about it though because I didn’t want to cook when I got home. I just wanted to spend it with my baby. We compromised by eating out 2 nights a week and I would prepare freezer, Crockpot, and ready to go meals the rest of the nights. It’s been two weeks, and it’s been going great so far. I’m running low on those meals, so anytime I make a meal from now on, I will make one for now, and one for later. 

Deep Clean the Home

work mama

I realize we don’t have time to shower some days, but try to pick up after yourself when moving from one room to another. Tidy up as much as you can because you will not have time to really clean once you start work. Even if you did have the time, you will want to be with your baby. If you are looking for ways to simplify your home, check out this post. Having less items in the home means less cleanup.

Communicate With Your Significant Other

work mama

Our lives changed dramatically. We were no longer two people with lots of time to spend on ourselves. We had to discuss what was going to change. Who was going to cook? When would dinner be served? Who would lose sleep on any given day? Who was going to clean? What were they going to clean? How often were they going to clean? Can you tell that I like to give away the cleaning tasks? These are all questions that need to be asked so your transition from staying at home mommy to working mommy go smoothly. If you were doing it all before, then you will have to rethink how you will be accepting taking work from your significant other or people you live with. 

Get Comfortable Saying ‘No’ After Work

work mama

It comes with the territory that your friends might change. You may still keep your work friends, but you will for sure add on more mommy friends. It’s only natural to want to connect with people that are going through the same thing as you. Lucky for me I work with some mommies, but that doesn’t mean that I would be able to go to happy hour on Fridays anymore. Once I get over needing to be with my baby on my free time, then I will join my friends back at the bar. Until then, I will just have to learn to say no. 

Bond with Your Family

work mama

Take your last day before you start work again and go do something fun with your family. We went to the San Diego Zoo as pass owners, but you can do whatever you want.  If you stayed at home, all you will do is think about work the next day. Go to the park, see a movie, enjoy the beach, walk through a Farmer’s Market. Enjoy it! You and your family deserve it!

Remind Yourself Why You Work

why do you work?

There is a reason you have that job. Do you need the money? Is it a stepping stone for your career? Do you love it? Are you great at it? What is your reason? Take it and remember it. I want to work because I love my career. When my daughter grows up, I want to show her that I love that part of my life because it is my own. 

Anything not on the list? I would love to know how you got ready! Shoot me a comment done below! 

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2 Responses to Back to Work Mama: 12 Tips for Going Back After Maternity Leave

  1. Ana Moa April 19, 2017 at 7:32 am #

    Awesome Liana! You are an Amazing mama <3 Thank you for sharing your heart. This will truly help other working mom's make that transition. God Bless ALL the moms out there.

  2. SuperDry San Diego April 19, 2017 at 7:46 pm #

    Thanks for the awesome post! I go back to work next Thursday, going to do a couple dry runs first. Cheers!

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