4 Tips for Returning to Work After Maternity Leave

Being a working mom has tons of challenges. Although I’m old hat at it now (my first baby is 8 ½) there

are still a lot of tweaks I make in my weeks to keep the household running smoothly

Going back to work after your first baby, whether it’s after a year, like we get here in Canada, or after a

few weeks, requires a lot of life changes. Some changes are big (daycare, reconnecting with your

workplace) and others are smaller (deciding who cooks dinner on what nights), but they can challenge

you, your relationships, and your mood.

Here are 4 tips to help your return to work run more smoothly.

1-Expect an adjustment period.

I had a very rough time getting back to work after my first baby. She never slept so I was

running on a year of sleep deprivation, and then I felt terrible mom guilt for not being there

more for her. I missed her first steps and (I’m sure) a bunch of other firsts, but I know she was

in excellent hands with the daycare we chose. Looking back now – she’s 8 – I see there was no

reason to feel all those negative emotions, but I did. And you might too.

2-Be upfront with your boss and coworkers.

If you’re the parent who is “on call” for the daycare, be sure everyone knows it. Having to leave

work for a sick kiddo really sucks, but it’s easier if your workplace knows it may happen. I’ve left

work many times to collect a child or two who was under the weather – from school and from

daycare. For me it’s a pay cut on top of the hassle of leaving work to collect them, but my family

comes first. Always. If your work doesn’t understand this, it’s time to leave them and find a new job that will be more flexible. Head to somewhere like https://www.arcresumes.com/local/illinois/ for help with writing a new resume, and get out of that toxic workplace quick!

3-Create a weekly routine.

After my first baby we got into a routine pretty quickly. Mondays and Thursdays I worked until

7pm which meant I didn’t see Emma at all those nights. Patrick would collect her, feed her, and

get her to bed. This was easier once I stopped breastfeeding every night – she was ready and

was happy enough without it. Although it wasn’t “easy” for me to not see her those nights, I did

finally adapt. Now I can’t wait to get a night out when I don’t have to put the kids to bed!

(Although their bedtimes are finally not a giant multi-story deal.)

4-Let go of some control.

This was a tough one for me. My husband does not do things the way I do. He gets things done,

and usually well, but his process is amazingly different from mine. It took me many years (and 2

children) to realize it is okay to let him do things his way. Especially if it meant I didn’t have to

do it. Bath time runs differently; bedtimes, when Dad does them, are half as long; and the

dishes will get done, if he says he’ll do them. But letting go of some on the “mom control”, as I

call it, can really help you relax at the end of the day.

While this is nowhere near an exhaustive list of things that may help, I do believe if you know some of

what to expect, you can have an easier return to the workplace after maternity leave. I know I could

have done with some advice way back when I first returned to work. I was not prepared for all the

feelings when I left my baby behind! But here I am, 7 years later, and happy with our life and the care

my children got with our amazing daycare.



Jessica is working mom who blogs. She can be found writing at A Modern Mom’s Life, and sharing her

posts on social media. You can find her on







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