Resuming professional life can be quite a challenge for many women. It is normal for the end of maternity leave to be a moment of insecurity, fear, doubts and even guilt.
Dealing with this requires planning and understanding of people who help you with the baby. The support network is essential during this period, after all, not all mothers can give up their career to fully dedicate themselves to motherhood.
And that’s okay! Each one knows their limits, capabilities and lives their reality. There are mothers who work at home and there are mothers who work outside the home, there is just no mother who does not work, right?
Planning is the keyword
The end of maternity leave is a timed event, so it’s easier to think about how the transition will go smoothly for both mother and baby.
There’s a lot to think about! Bedtime, distance between home and office, commuting time, who’s staying with the baby, and the list goes on. They all need attention and require adaptation.
With the pandemic, it is also possible to be in a home office (telework). It may seem simpler, but it requires discipline and a little word that we won’t get tired of repeating: planning! The family will need to separate work time from other activities, as well as not mixing spaces, for example.
7 tips to ease the end of maternity leave
1 – Think of a new routine
Changes will happen, so it’s up to you to accept that and plan your baby’s routine, from simple play activities and developmental stimulation to feeding and nap times.
The idea is not to be in control of everything, but to reassure you that you have done your best to make sure everything is in the best shape for your little one. It’s not at all productive to spend hours worrying about the smallest details of the child at the last minute.
While it’s important to have a planned agenda, be open to changes and adaptations. Always have a contact who will be taking care of the baby to call and send messages.
2- Divide the tasks at home
With the end of maternity leave, don’t take on all the tasks in the world for yourself! The division of household chores, if you live with the baby’s father, is something basic to help in your day-to-day and even in your relationship. During this period, the importance increases even more.
The new family schedule must have the participation of as many people as necessary to ensure safety and comfort for the little one. Delegate! The support network is essential, it is worth the help of the mother, mother-in-law, siblings and even a nanny, if it is in the interest of the parents.
Sharing roles is also positive for having more time with the baby. Just as it is necessary to rest, enjoying this childhood phase is super nice.
Another interesting habit is having a list of useful telephone numbers at home. Supermarkets, pharmacies, restaurants, pediatricians, etc.
3 – Introduce new people into the baby’s routine
It is important to introduce new faces for the child before the end of maternity leave, even so as not to cause awkwardness. It is possible for the baby to stay with grandparents, uncles, father, friends or other trusted family members. Whichever you choose, insert these people into everyday life day after day.
If you decide to take him to a daycare or nursery, visit more than one institution to learn about the routine and take the child with you. Thus, it is easier to adapt and perceive if the little one enjoyed the environment.
If a nanny is hired, the ideal is also to make the selection in advance and have a clear and transparent dialogue about the family and the routine. Align your expectations and take it easy, no one will take care of the baby like you, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad.
4 – Organize the baby’s feeding
If you’re breastfeeding, going back to work doesn’t mean the end of exclusive breastfeeding. We have a complete material on how to reconcile breastfeeding and work. The tips will help you!
Oh, and do you know that according to the Consolidation of Labor Laws (CLT), the breastfeeding woman is entitled to two half-hour breaks each to breastfeed? The right is valid until the child is six months old.
If the place of work is far from home, it is possible to combine the two periods and reduce the hours by one hour, for example. There are also other solutions to maintain the baby’s food: leaving it frozen and offering it in small cups is a good thing. Of course there is also the bottle, but there can be a confusion of nipples.
If infant formula is offered, remember to leave the instructions for the baby’s caretaker. Quantity, temperature, times and the details that are relevant.
5 – Take care of your feelings
Bad feelings can show up, Mom. Guilt, fear… It is normal for the emotional to be shaken by this change in routine with the end of maternity leave. Learning to deal with this is critical, don’t ignore them.
Be calm and patient with yourself and if you have the opportunity, seek psychological counseling. It’s important to your work productivity and happiness, your mental health will affect the baby too.
6 – Try not to convey insecurity to the child
When mom is insecure, this will likely be noticed by the baby. The sensation can generate difficulty in acceptance and even anxiety in the child, who may feel the mother’s absence excessively.
Reinforce with words and actions that everything is fine and that you will always be close, even if not in the same environment.
7. Respect your time
You don’t have to handle everything, Mom! Remember that it is a re-adaptation and now you have a task that is very difficult, being a mother. It’s okay if you can do a lot of things at once, but it’s okay to have a hard time getting into the rhythm with the end of maternity leave.
At work, count on the help of colleagues to share news about projects and demands.
The end of maternity leave is not the end of the world, it is just the beginning of a new cycle. We believe in your ability, Mom! Everything has already worked out.
Tell us in the comments about your transition to work after motherhood!
Pregnant women’s rights at work: know 5 you can’t give up
Maternity leave is extended to mothers of premature babies
How to reconcile breastfeeding and work?