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The Bittersweet End of Maternity Leave

The Bittersweet End of Maternity Leave

Jill Hare

I enjoyed a glorious twelve weeks of maternity leave home with my baby girl thanks to FMLA (Family & Medical Leave Act.) I can’t even believe that I contemplated taking less time off from work. Twelve weeks fly by fast even without twelve weeks worth of sleep. And just when I’ve started to get the hang of how to be a mom, it’s time to return to work and learn how to be a working mom. If you’re like me and you find yourself ready to return to work, here are a few gems to file away.

Alert the troops.

Email your staff, boss and HR to let them know a week in advance that you’ll be returning to work. This will help everyone prepare for your return. Try to set up a few meetings the day you return with the proper staff to debrief you on what you’ve missed so you can pick up where you left off. Doing this also helps you get your thoughts in order of what jobs need to be attacked on your first day back.

Elastic is your friend.

If you think you can wear all of your professional clothes when you go back to work, you might be suffering from the baby brain syndrome. I’m sure your maternity leave wardrobe consisted of pj’s and anything you could find that was clean. Now that you’re going back to work, go through your clothes and see what your waist can fit into. The rest of your body may resemble what it used to, but unless you got a tummy tuck while you were giving birth, don’t let those celebs make you think three months’ time brings your pre-baby body back- it doesn’t. I was surprised to find that lots of stores carried professional skirts and pants with elastic waistbands to transition my wardrobe. Going back to work after a baby is hard enough with worrying whether your co-workers think you still look pregnant. A transitional wardrobe may not make the best fashion statement, but it’ll help you feel good enough about yourself to focus on work.

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