Maternity leave is a great opportunity for you to spend time with your new baby and adjust to your new role as a mum. But, unfortunately if you have decided to go back to work, your time at home will eventually have to come to an end.
If you are concerned about leaving baby and don’t even know where to start in terms of establishing a routine, the following will help.
No matter how much you might want to leave the inevitable to the last minute, you will have to do some prep work. Otherwise the week before back-to-work will be a crazy rush of you trying to get everything ready and deal with your emotions at the same time. Start as you mean to go on. This means you will need to get a routine ready a couple of months prior to the big day. Establish a feeding, bath time, playtime, ‘me time’ and housework time now that will work for you when you are back in work.
Determine the day you are going back
As you get used to juggling work pressures and baby you will no doubt be exhausted the first week of work. Try to have a mid-week start date to help you get used to your new day slowly. It will be a huge change and your emotions will be running high. Easing yourself into it will help you and baby become used to the schedule.
Get childcare sorted
Whether you are putting your child in crèche, having a nanny or a family member minding your infant, it is important you have them mind your baby prior to you going back to work. Don’t just leave it to the last minute as there may be some teething problems that need to be ironed out – it is better to be prepared than to have a distressed child. You can start off slowly, maybe have them mind your little one for one day a week, gradually increasing it over time. Both of you will start to get used to being separated.
Plan your meals early on in the week or batch cook at the weekend and freeze dinners. This way when you do come home exhausted it’s one less thing to worry about. Simply pop it in the oven and you can have a stress-free healthy dinner and still have time to catch up with your baby.