Giving birth is one of the most incredible and life-changing moments of a person’s life. I would venture to say it is the most amazing moment. Afterward, though, life as you know, it is literally over forever. That is not to say that life won’t be good anymore.
You have your precious baby, so it will be better in so many ways! However, it will also present more challenges — ones you have surely never faced before simply because you didn’t have this baby until now.
Are you a mom who will be going back to work after having your baby? It will be a new challenge, but it will be one that you are absolutely equipped to handle. You delivered a baby, after all! You can do this!
To help you in your transition, here are some tips to keep in mind to keep stress at bay and prevent you from burning out right away.
Reach Out to Your Employer
As a new mother, you have certain legal rights. Breastfeeding laws, for example, vary by state. But for most states, you have the legal right to a time and space to pump for a year after your little bundle of joy has entered the world.
Aside from legal protections, it is also good to speak with your employer about what you need to return to work. This communication will not make you look needy or weak but rather will open the door to a respectful work environment upon your return. Some bosses would be open to helping you transition effectively. But you’ll need to communicate this with them, suppose you need a change in hours or to slowly ease back into your position.
Set Clear Boundaries
Before your new baby’s debut into the world, you may have been someone who does it all. We all know the types – you put in late hours, you arrive to work early, and you often bring the office home even though you have physically left the building itself. Now that you have a baby to care for, it is important to set boundaries between work and home. You need to be able to be the best you can be at work.
Your career matters, and it is good that you want to continue to pursue it. You also need to be the best for your baby and family in general. Creating a space that is just for your home life will prevent you from getting overwhelmed at work or getting frustrated at home because you are thinking about work.
Take Time for Yourself
It might seem cheesy, but you need to set time aside for yourself after you have had a baby. Many women fall into postpartum depression following their child’s birth, which makes sense when you look deeper into the situation. Your body is hormonal. In many cases, mothers return to work when they are still physically recovering from giving birth.
You are trying to return to a sense of normalcy — with a new baby to take care of. Add that to all of the responsibilities you had before your baby’s arrival. It IS tough.
Being mindful of your needs and wants doesn’t make you selfish. On the contrary, it means that you are well-rounded and thinking for the long term.
Remember to continue to take care of yourself, exercise when possible, eat a well-balanced diet, keep the lines of communication open, and reach out to your friends and family for support. That’s why they are your friends and family.
Being a new mom and going back to work is a unique challenge. It is one that countless women have been faced with and have conquered. You, too, could get your career back after having a baby. And you could do so without feeling bad or guilty or less than the amazing person that you are.