6 tips and tricks for mums returning from maternity leave

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Don't stress new mums, and working mums! These 6 helpful tips and tricks will help you transition from maternity to leave to work with ease

For the working mum, returning from maternity leave can be a bitter pill to swallow. Surely, you were finally getting in rhythm with your baby, and you may have even got a grasp on this whole "being a mummy" thing. However, duty calls, and being the strong, hardworking woman you are, you're ready to return whether you like it or not.

While it may not be an easy transition, there are ways to beat the system and ease back into your work life. We thought we'd share these helpful tips and tricks to assist mums who are making their way back to the office after their maternity leaves.

Here's what we've got:

1. Anticipate the transition

You know the concept of "expect the worst, hope for the best"? It might be useful to try that here. There's no doubt that you probably you'll be thinking about your baby, and trying to maintain focus at work may be difficult. So, it's best to come in knowing that it'll be a bit of a struggle to manage both. Manage your expectations, and expect that you'll have to ease yourself back into working mode. It'll all get easier in time, and you'll get back to regular work routine...just don't rush the process!

2. Expect rough mornings

Now that you're a mum, your mornings ar more hectic than ever. There's so much to do to prep the baby for the day! Not to mention that you have to get ready for a long day at the office. That's why you should expect a rough morning, and embrace the challenge. Just like easing back into work, you'll get the hang of it eventually. Try to stay as calm and collected as possible and make sure you complete all of your morning tasks. If it helps, consider sleeping earlier, so you can wake up sooner and have more time to manage your mornings. Your mornings will be one of the busiest times of your day, so prepare accordingly.

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3. Find the best childcare possible

If you truly want to focus on your work, you'll need to find the very best childcare that you possibly can. After all, you'll feel more at ease trusting your kid to someone responsible, safe, and trustworthy. You've got a lot on your plate as a working mother and you can't afford to have childcare be on your plate as well. Don't settle for anything less than perfect when it comes to babysitting. Make sure that the person you hire is trustworthy, loving and caring, responsible, and punctual. As a new mum, you're probably going to have feelings of anxiety and stress, so please do yourself a favor and hire the best childcare you can!

4. Don't forget to pump!

New mums will have about two to three points in the day where they have to pump. Surely, you won't forget to pump, but don't forget to schedule your work day in accordance with your pumping schedule. You also can't forget to pack your pump and extra nursing pads with you everyday! Now that you're a working mummy, you have to do your best to consolidate your work day with motherhood, so do your best to include pumping at work.

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5. Stock up like there's no tomorrow

Do everything in your power to make sure you're never short on any of the new mummy essentials. It'll help reduce your stress levels, and help make your life a hell of a lot easier. Make sure that you have a reliable breast pump, extra nursing pads, a hefty bag to carry everything, etc. It might also be wise to prep your meals if possible. You'll have less time than ever to prepare meals when you go home, so whenever you make a meal, prepare extras. You can use those as lunch for your next work day, or even as dinner for when you get home from work.

6. Do what you can to reduce stress

It'd be nice if there was an on/off switch that new mums could flip whenever they felt stressed. Until that miraculous discovery comes, mums will have to put in effort to reduce stress. This can be done in many ways. You can try to ease your way back into work, and not have such high expectations for work output upon arriving back at the office. You can work on time management skills, so you can more evenly distribute your work.

Or, you can try the technique of simply saying no. I;m not suggesting you say it too often (I'm not trying to get you fired!) all I'm saying is that if your co-workers or boss expect certain things of you, practice declining. For example, if there's a work function that you predict will interfere with your motherly duties, telly our boss you can't attend. Do what you can to help reduce the stress of being a working mother. you'll thank yourself in the end.

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(Image courtesy: iDiva)