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10 Tips for Mothers Returning to Work After Maternity Leave

10 Tips For Mothers Returning To Work After Maternity Leave - Parenting - 2023

10 Tips for Mothers Returning to Work After Maternity Leave

Returning to work after maternity leave can be exciting and challenging as a new mother. The transition back into the workforce can be filled with mixed emotions and adjustments. This article offers ten helpful tips for mothers planning on returning to work after maternity leave, focusing on making the experience smoother and more enjoyable. Let’s dive in!

1. Prepare for Your Return in Advance

Getting organized and planning ahead can help ease the stress of returning to work after maternity leave.

Create a Schedule

A few weeks before your return, create a schedule that outlines your new daily routine, including your work hours, childcare arrangements, and family time. This will help you visualize your new routine and identify any potential issues.

Arrange for Childcare

Secure reliable childcare well in advance of your return to work. Whether you’re choosing a daycare, nanny, or family member, be sure to communicate your needs and expectations clearly.

2. Communicate with Your Employer

Open communication with your employer is crucial when returning to work after maternity leave.

Discuss Your Transition

Schedule a meeting with your manager to discuss your return, including any adjustments to your work schedule or responsibilities. Be transparent about your needs and expectations, and be open to feedback and suggestions from your employer.

Stay Connected

Maintain contact with your colleagues during your maternity leave, if possible. Staying in the loop can help you feel more connected and make your return to work smoother.

3. Ease Back into Work

Don’t overwhelm yourself by jumping back into your full workload immediately.

Start Gradually

Consider returning to work part-time or on a flexible schedule for the first few weeks. This will give you time to adjust to your new routine and find a balance between work and family life.

Prioritize Your Tasks

Create a list of tasks that need to be completed upon your return, and prioritize them based on importance and deadlines. This will help you stay organized and focused as you ease back into work.

4. Set Boundaries and Manage Expectations

Establishing boundaries and managing expectations can help you maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Define Your Limits

Set clear boundaries for your work and personal life, such as not checking work emails during family time. Communicate these boundaries with your employer and colleagues to ensure they understand your needs.

Be Realistic

Accept that it may take some time to regain your pre-maternity leave productivity level. Be patient with yourself and focus on progress, not perfection.

5. Reconnect with Colleagues

Building strong relationships with coworkers can help ease the transition back to work.

Schedule Catch-up Meetings

Arrange one-on-one meetings with your colleagues to get updates on projects and developments that occurred during your absence. This will help you feel more connected and informed.

Participate in Team Activities

Join team lunches, meetings, or social events to strengthen relationships with your colleagues and reintegrate into the workplace culture.

6. Seek Support

Having a support system is essential when returning to work after maternity leave.

Connect with Other Working Parents

Contact other working parents in your workplace or community for advice, encouragement, and friendship. They can provide valuable insights and empathy from their own experiences.

Ask for Help

Don’t hesitate to ask for help from family, friends, or coworkers. Whether it’s assistance with childcare, household chores, or work tasks, having support can make the transition smoother.

7. Maintain Self-Care

Taking care of yourself is essential for maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Prioritize Sleep

Ensure you get enough rest, even if it means adjusting your schedule or seeking help with nighttime childcare duties. Being well-rested can improve your focus and productivity at work.

Exercise and Eat Well

Incorporate regular exercise and a balanced diet into your routine to boost your energy levels, reduce stress, and maintain overall well-being.

8. Stay Organized

An organized life can make your transition back to work smoother and more manageable.

Use Time Management Tools

Utilize calendars, planners, and productivity apps to keep track of your work and personal obligations. These tools can help you stay on top of deadlines and prevent feeling overwhelmed.

Create Routines

Establish morning, evening, and weekend routines to streamline daily tasks, such as meal prep, laundry, and housekeeping. This can help save time and reduce stress.

9. Be Patient with Yourself

Allow yourself time to adjust and acknowledge that feeling a mix of emotions is normal.

Embrace Change

Understand that your work and home life may be different after maternity leave. Embrace these changes and be open to finding new ways of managing your responsibilities.

Celebrate Small Victories

Recognize and celebrate your big and small achievements as you adjust to your new routine. This can help boost your confidence and motivation.

10. Review and Adjust

Continually assess your work-life balance and make adjustments as needed.

Evaluate Your Schedule

Regularly review your schedule and workload to ensure you’re maintaining a healthy balance between work and family life. If something isn’t working, be prepared to make changes.

Seek Feedback

Ask for feedback from your employer, colleagues, and family to help identify areas for improvement and growth. Use this feedback to adjust and continue working towards a healthy work-life balance.

In conclusion, returning to work after maternity leave can be challenging, but proper planning, communication, and support can be a smooth and successful experience. By following these ten tips, mothers can feel confident and prepared as they reintegrate into the workforce.

Originally posted 2023-03-23 15:16:54.


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  1. When I went back after my first I found T-shirt dresses were my saving grace. I had the csection shelf and would wear compression underwear with it. Also, my maternity leggings still fit then. I would pair those with long tunics. I’m in my office most of the time and don’t have FaceTime with anyone. I could get away with it.

  2. Mannnnn…. going from wearing stretchy pants for many months then back to unforgiving uniform pants was such a drag. I didn’t lose any weight after having the baby (couldn’t breastfeed so possibly related) so my clothes were tight AF.

  3. Literally had this thought today.

    ‘Man I just need to kick into gear so when I go back to work I’m at my pre pregnancy weight. Only 20 lbs to go that’s doable.’

    ‘…. I go back in a week. Damn.’

  4. Magic wrap skirts. Wevez or Darn Good Yarn. Doesn’t matter what size you are, comfy as hell, looks great, amazing supportive community on fb, and just fun. I don’t wear pants anymore.

  5. Going back in a week and my comfy stretchy pants I used to wear to work when I was feeling lazy will absolutely be my staple wardrobe item 😂 they’re basically pjs but slightly classy

  6. I’m back to work, but working from home. I have like 3 nice tops I wear for video calls and wear leggings or sweatpants with them. I get grumpy when video calls get canceled and I wore my nice shirt for nothing 😀

  7. Omg I feel this so hard right now. I have lived in the same clothes for the past year. Like legitimately it was a hard decision every single time whether to wash them or just wait until the next load!

  8. Thanks to pandemic and close “non essential” shops Im stuck with 1 skirt and 2 sweatpants that are giving all they can but they wear and tear started to be noticed…. I look so no put together ever 😢

  9. Literally! Omg ignore what people think or say, just wear what fits and feels comfortable, black is always presentable. I am 4 months post partum and still trying to find the right size in bottoms that don’t cut me in half across my tummy. I’m excited gone to plus sized stores just for the waistband to fit when I have thin legs .but who cares ! It’s the only thing that will fit!

  10. Yeah… Good thing I’m working from home thanks to the pandemic. I am about 5-10 pounds above my pre pregnancy weight but my body really changed. My pregnancy leggings (and regular leggings) are still incredibly useful. I think I’m just going to wear dresses until I have enough time and energy to shop for new pants.

  11. 3 months pp. My husband and I were talking about some stuff to do with our stimmy money last night. In a sad voice I said I really want to get some new clothes, but need to still lose 20lbs first😩 All I’ve worn for the last year is leggings!! I ordered some nice running shoes last night instead 😊

  12. I am so greatfull I have 59 weeks of paid maternity leave to get into shape. Trying to do 10k steps every day until it is okay for my daughter to take a bottle of expressed milk from daddy a few times a week so I can hit the gym. I BF and would like to prevent nipple confusion so we are waiting until she is 12 weeks before we introduce a slow flow bottle.

  13. Best Advice I ever read: Just buy that pp clothes, don’t wait for your body to change back to “normal’. Having a different body after giving birth is normal!
    I did that and never looked back. Your body did amazing, it gave life and is still caring for your little one. Sounds perfect to me already.

  14. For my first I bought new blouses and pants and went back to work mid-Feb 2020. I was only going for about a month before we started WFH. What a freaking waste! Then I got pregnant again over the summer because we were feeling optimistic about the pandemic so it was back to maternity pants and leggings.

    I haven’t worn some of those pants in over a year, I hope they will still fit when I go back from 2nd maternity leave!

  15. I’m 3 months pp and only 5 pounds away from pre-baby weight. But my body is a COMPLETELY different shape. I laughed out loud when I tried on some of my old work clothes last week 🥴

  16. Oh yes. Thank god I’ve been working from home. I’m nearly six months PP and I can only now squeeze back into my pre-baby healthy weight pants. And they must have some impressive stretch because I still have 20 lbs to lose!

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Written by Claire

Claire is our Community Manager here at New Moms Forum. A mom of two (almost grown-up babies), Claire has been building and operating community-based websites for almost 20 years. In her downtime, Claire enjoys spending time with her family and drinking copious amounts of red wine!

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