By Yaritza Zayas, MS, MFT, LPC, NCC
I am by nature a reader, researcher and have a deep need to prepare as much as possible for life changes and transitions. I know, when having a baby you can only prepare so much, but going into motherhood with some information is better than going in zero knowledge. I have returned to work and have learned somethings that maybe helpful to anyone who is returning to work after baby.
- Take Baby Steps: if at all possible work your way up to a full work week. After being home with a child for an extended amount of time , you are sleep deprived and out of your previous routine. It is a shock to both you and baby. Taking your time in getting back to work can be as simple as setting time to check and respond to emails. Prior to my return to the office, I was working from home, completing administrative tasks, reaching out to clients, setting social media posts, etc.
- Plan and Schedule: although you can not plan everything, having a rough idea of what your day looks like can calm anxiety. Even allot for the time it will take to drop of and pick up your child. Go ahead and do a practice run. Honor the time you have set for work, family, and self.
- Say NO: I can not stress this enough. No is a complete statement that needs no explanation. Acknowledge that life has changed, and that is ok! You will not be able to have the old life (that does not mean you will not be able to enjoy yourself life before it just looks different now more on this later!) Before, my son was born, I was quick to say “yes” to a lot of things. I had the time, I had different priorities, I could do so! Now, not so much. So, my schedule looks different, my availability is different, but it is what work for me now and that allows me to be a better professional !
- Meet with Your Boss: before getting into the office set a time to meet with your employer to get office and work updates. If you are an entrepreneur take the time to get yourself organized, rework your goals and plans for that quarter.
- Dress for Success: during my maternity leave, I barely wore make-up, lived in leggings and nursing tanks! If you have birthed a child, your body underwent major changes! So, get yourself sized if need be and get some pieces that make you feel comfortable. Go ahead and get a haircut, get that manicure and pedicure.
Lastly, make sure to have some support; find someone that you can talk to what you are going through. If you are struggling, do hesitate to get help! Contact the Postpartum Stress International for access to postpartum therapy resources. If you need more information, feel free to contact me.