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Returning from work after maternity leave

As you know, Dr. Becky Beilstein has recently returned to Rushmore Family Chiropractic after the birth of her second daughter. Many moms return to jobs and careers after maternity leave. It is often challenging, wondering how to make it all work. We thought we’d offer some friendly advice to other moms out there!

Moms often wind up shouldering the burden of ‘balance’ – trying to achieve equality between work and home demands. After weeks of maternity leave, you may feel anxious as you prepare to leave your baby and return to the workplace. You may struggle with feelings of guilt, particularly when you think about the small milestones in your child’s life that you might miss. You are tired, but you are also eager to get back to your responsibilities. With a little help, you can accomplish this.

There are some decisions you need to make well in advance of returning to work. Will you return full-time or on a reduced schedule? What boundaries do you need to establish in order to feel productive? What will you say NO to? What are your expectations from your employer? Can you bring your baby with you to work, or will you be relying on child care?

Once you’ve made your decisions, start planning ahead. If your baby will be cared for by a new provider, take time to get to know them. Maybe drop your baby off for a day, ahead of your work return for a ‘test run’. Do something nice for yourself (we recommend a well-deserved massage or adjustment). If issues come up, you won’t learn about them during your first day back on the job.

Talk to your colleagues, co-workers and supervisors. Get ‘back in the game’ so to speak and talk about the game plan for your return. Make sure that you have all your passwords and logins saved. You don’t want to be scrambling to remember how to gain access that first day back!

Pump ahead of time if your baby is on breast milk and pack the baby bag in advance.

Then when you get back to work, set a reasonable schedule for your first few days. Block time for catching up on emails and other correspondences. Avoid big meetings or presentations during your first week. In fact, we encourage you to start back mid-week. Avoid that Manic Monday experience and ease into your work return.

Be sure to get lots of rest the night before. This is the one occasion where having a partner or caregiver to help with nighttime baby duties can be critical!

Most important, don’t pressure yourself. Be patient and kind. It’s a process and you won’t feel like you’re back in the swing of things on Day One. Set reasonable expectations for yourself and your team and remember that you are valuable both at work and to your family. Turn to your mom friends for support and celebrate the small successes – your baby’s and your own!

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