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Returning to Work After Maternity Leave

Returning to Work After Maternity Leave

Returning to work after maternity leave may be a financial necessity for a lot of mothers, but that doesn't make the decision any easier. After all, it can be difficult to leave the child you've spent so many months caring for and getting to know.

If you are planning to go back to work, now's the time to start considering your childcare options and making choices, while you still have several months remaining on your maternity leave. By dealing with your decision now (and remember, it is your decision, not anyone else's) you'll help make this big transition as painless as possible for you and for your baby. If you have decided to enroll your little one in day care you may already be on a waitlist.

Ways to ease the transition for your child:

  • Phase in your baby's introduction to the daycare or nursery school: start by visiting with your toddler, then leaving the child for a short period of time, and gradually extending the amount of time you're away.
  • If the caregiver is coming into your home, you should similarly introduce the new person gradually for increasingly longer periods of time.
  • Be patient. It can take four to six weeks for toddlers to adjust to being cared for by someone else.
  • Make sure your child has all the comforts they're attached to, like bottles, cups, pacifiers and favourite blankets.

Ways to ease the transition for you:

  • Once you've put the time and effort into deciding on a childcare option, allow yourself to trust that person to take care of your child. It helps to accept the fact that he or she won't do everything exactly the same way you would.
  • Don't feel guilty about cutting corners like housework when you're feeling swamped. After all, there's only so much you can do.
  • Prepare the things you'll need (like work clothes and the diaper bag) the night before, to reduce your stress in the morning when you'll need to focus on getting your child fed and ready to go.
  • Cook extra meals on the weekends and freeze leftovers, so you'll have easy-to-heat meals on hand.
  • Feel free to call about how your toddler is doing, even if you left only a few minutes ago. It's okay if you sometimes need to have that reassurance.
  • Use your lunch hour to relax as much as you can, go to an exercise class, read or go for a walk.

Keep calm and carry on

It’s okay to be nervous about leaving your baby and returning to work after maternity leave. By keeping calm and being supportive you can make the transition easier for both of you. While babies naturally form close bonds with their parents, it's also good for them to build healthy and strong attachments to other people. It won't hurt the bond between you and your child because after all, there's no replacement for mom and dad.

If you don't find the information you're looking for, please feel free to contact us for additional support.

 
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