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Tips to Successfully Return to Work after Maternity Leave

Maximize your return to work after maternity leave with these expert tips for a seamless and stress-free transition. Read ON!
Successfully Return to Work after Maternity Leave The transition from being a new mom to getting back to the workforce requires a great amount of physical and mental strength. You sure will be concerned about joining with the flow of the ever-evolving market, managing relationships with your partner, colleagues and your boss, managing to spend time with your little one, and most importantly, maintaining your sanity amidst all the chaos.

Every part of your life has now changed–your daily schedule and your responsibility as a mother. Furthermore, you may not feel ready to leave your baby at the hands of another person, be it your family member or a caretaker. While millions of mothers do it every day, the fact still remains that you could feel overwhelmed with this intense transition.

Here are a few tips that worked for me, which could help you to smoothly transition to being a working mother.

Be Kind to Yourself

The first few weeks are the most challenging. You are emotional, frustrated, worried about your little one, and nervous about your ability to perform well at your job. Taking a few weeks to settle at your job is natural. Don’t be too hard on yourself; don’t draw conclusions early on; don’t ignore your feelings either. Just like the other phases of your life, this too shall pass. You might even re-think if going back to job was a good idea; just remind yourself, “You grew a little human inside of you. You are too strong to simply give up on this. You’re a mom! You SLAY!”

Ease into the Transition

Don’t make the first day of your work be the first day that the baby stays with a new caretaker or goes to day care. Start the process two to three weeks before you start working. You need to be present with your child while he/she gets accustomed to the caretaker. If you plan to leave your child at a day care, request the manager that you stay with the child for sometime. Slowly, increase the amount of time that you are away from your little one, starting from just a few minutes. While this exercise helps ease your child to being with a new caretaker, it prepares you to get back to work with less anxiety and provides you with a preview of what is to come.

Try and enrol your child in a day care that has CCTV cameras and provides you with access to the ongoing events.


Your child may be too young to express his/her feelings; yet, you need to communicate to your little one about the upcoming changes in both your lives and ensure that you would always be there for him/her. Let your child know that he/she will always be your priority and that these changes will not affect your love for each other. Repeat these affirmations as many times as possible.

Communicate to your partner about your expectations and dividing your responsibilities. Talk about every detail, such as feeding the baby in the nights (my partner and I still take up this responsibility on alternative nights!), taking him/her to day care, dividing chores, and even taking a break once in a while.

Successfully Return to Work after Maternity Leave Discuss with your caretaker about your expectations. Let him/her know about possible adversities and the solutions to handling them. Build a good rapport with your caretaker and be understanding; you may need their support more than you know!

Communicate to your boss early on about the non-negotiables–to be able to leave whatever you are doing in case of emergencies regarding your child, to stick to your work schedule, or to do any additional work only after your child’s sleep time. Request your boss to work from home two or three days a week, if your commute to your workplace takes long.

Prepare for Your Professional Comeback

Before you start your full-time job, take up a freelance job wherein you work only for an hour or a few hours while you get your child accustomed to the new routine. This will help you focus better when you get back to work, and help you to better achieve your work-life balance. This will also help you understand the changes in your respective industry and prepare yourself to resume your career, instead of having to start from scratch.

Be Realistic

Understand the role you can now play at work. You may not be able to dedicate the same amount of time or work as hard as you did earlier. You may not be able to work overtime like you did earlier. And no, I’m not saying that you cannot be as good at your job as you were; you need to be smarter and do the same work in a more efficient manner. Talk to your boss and discuss where you should focus your efforts and add value. Don’t force yourself to do more than what you can.

Time every task, understand when to stop, prioritize (not every email requires an immediate response!), and delegate your job if that’s a possibility.

Successfully Return to Work after Maternity Leave

Plan Your Time With Your Child

Stick to your schedule and plan your bonding time. You don’t have to compromise on your emotional bond with your child just because you spend less time with him/her. Talk with your caretaker, request for a timely video call or to send pictures.
Be present when you spend time with him/her; stick to a no-phone policy during your mommy-baby bonding time. Your child will always wait for you to be back; make sure that the wait is worth it!

Build a Supportive Circle Around Yourself

There are several networks of moms who are in the same boat as you, trying to achieve the same goals. Join such communities, and seek out their support and advises.
Connect with people in your neighbourhood who also have children. Find out if your workplace has any helpful resources, such as day care within your office campus or a network of trustable caretakers. Talk to your colleagues who have experienced the process and seek their suggestions.

Key Tips Once You Start Working:

  • Keep your schedule as predictable as possible. Plan every part of your day.
  • Always seek out support, and don’t be shy about asking for help.
  • Communicate to your colleagues with a clear idea of what your schedule looks like, and be stubborn about it. You don’t need to modify your schedule to accommodate them. They will learn what to expect and adjust when needed.
  • Learn to say no when you know that it would affect your personal life.

Returning to your job is a process. It will not be an easy task, but it is not impossible. Remind yourself that you will still be an ambitious, a hardworking, and a diligent professional as before; you simply need to modify your way of work and your professional attributes to your new normal!

Copyrights © 2024 Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine

Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 23rd February 2023.
IJ Kavyashree
IJ Kavyashree is a contributing writer at Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine.

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