Going back to work after maternity leave or taking some time off while your child is young can be difficult, and very overwhelming for many mothers. You're likely worried about how you will juggle your parental responsibilities with your career. In addition, you may have doubts about leaving your baby all day after you go back to work.
But the well-prepared working mom who is equipped with a solid plan will have an easier integration back into the workplace. To prepare yourself to go back to work, try the following:
Buy some new work clothing.
If you've just had a baby, you will likely need some new clothing for work in a different size. Go shopping and find yourself something other than sweats to get you motivated to go back to work. Buy just a few items, as you may lose weight as more time passes, but enjoy an excuse to add a few new items to your professional wardrobe.
If you're going back to work after being a stay-at-home mom, your work wardrobe could probably use some updating.
Schedule lunch with colleagues.
If you just had your baby, you'll likely want to show him or her off to your colleagues. At lunch with colleagues, you'll talk about the workplace, and the desire to go back to work will become greater. If you haven't been in the workplace for some time, this will stir up memories of your working days gone past, and get you motivated to go back to work.
Read your industry's trade journals.
Bring yourself up-to-date with what is going on in your industry before you go back to work. Reading up on the latest news in your field will allow you to feel confident upon your return to work. In addition, you will reconnect with the industry you may have been out of touch with for some time.
Make daycare arrangements.
When you're going back to work, you'll want to arrange for daycare you can trust. Whether your plan is to leave your baby with relatives, at a daycare center or your child has reached full-day school age, you want to make sure you have a solid plan for child care when you go back to work. By having a plan, you will feel less torn or uneasy about going back to work.
Plan for time with mommy friends.
Even though you're returning to work, you need to still have your "mommy time" with friends you've made since you became a parent or with those friends who also have kids your child's age. You may want to schedule a regular Saturday afternoon playdate, to keep you connected to friends with whom you share a parenting bond. It will also make you feel less guilty about going back to work, especially if most of your friends in your mommy group work full-time as well.
Devise a schedule.
Working moms function best when they have a schedule that allows them down time from both work and parenting. A schedule that includes all business responsibilities, such as office meetings and business lunches, as well as all parental duties, from open school night to soccer games, will help you stay organized and focused. Make sure to include time for yourself!