How To Keep Sane When The Maternity Leave is Over
Becoming a mother requires strength and determination, especially when your livelihood drastically changes in response to your newborn. Mothers on maternity leave may get used to their new way of life with baby 24/7. When the time comes to return to work, doubt may creep in from naysayers who ask, “How do you expect to be successful” or “What will come of your child?” Consider these things in your preparation to re-enter the workforce swinging.
Childcare is there for a reason.
When credible, childcare can be a wonderful resource. You may doubt yourself, listening to those who ask why you aren’t enough to take care of your newborn. Remember why you are returning to work in the first place — to work to live, not to live to work. You must provide for your family if you want them to have the resources to thrive.
You cannot do it all.
You could obsess over losing the baby weight, being the best at your job and being a live-in chef at home, but it would waste a lot of your energy. Don’t focus on perfection, rather, being the best version of yourself.
Your job no longer comes first.
While you certainly don’t have to be “all about the baby”, their safety and well being are now your #1 priority. Adjustments to your life before like relocation, working extra hours etc. are reasonable considerations but must also accommodate the well being of your little one.
You are now the shield, not the knight.
Before you may have complained about X, Y and Z, keeping in mind your best interest. When things came your way, you could duck and put your shield up, letting it take the blow. Now you are your child’s shield. When you have a rough day at work or get sick, you still must be in your best condition to be their shield. Self-care is important and necessary, but must now be used in moderation with care to your child.
Develop and use your support system.
You may want to do it alone, but you cannot with your sanity intact. Friends and family make up your village necessary to raise your newborn. Allow yourself to be vulnerable when necessary and lean on them to make you and your little one strong.
Be kind to yourself.
You will fall short, that is to be expected. While you will fall short, you will also thrive. Take your successes and losses as they come. Take care of yourself and recharge so that you can be the best shield you can be. Utilize your village and take pride in the fact that you are now raising one of your own.
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