5 Ways to Ease Your Back to Work Transition

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The everyday life of a working mom is both fantastic and challenging. There's the joy of doing a good job at your job, the satisfaction of managing to get everyone everywhere they need to be, the love that comes with bedtime snuggles and the pure exhaustion the end of the day brings.

No matter how much you might look forward to or love being a working mom, there's one day that every working parent dreads – the very first day they go back to work. Heading back to work after maternity leave, no matter how long or short it might be, often causes new moms major stress, but there are few things you can do that will ease your transition.

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Go shopping with an open mind

Nothing is worse than trying on your pre-pregnancy work clothes the week before you head back and realizing that absolutely nothing fits. Give yourself a break and, instead of trying to squeeze yourself into clothes that are tight and uncomfortable, just go shopping. Don't worry about the number or size on the tag, just find a few simple items and buy them. All your need is a pair of black or grey pants, a few loose tops, and a few cute pieces of jewelry to make yourself feel fantastic.

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Do a few trial runs with your daycare or babysitter

Perhaps the most stressful part of heading back to work is handing off your little one to their sitter or daycare. Before the big day do a few trial runs to help you feel more comfortable and help your care provider get to know your baby. Start with an hour or two at a time and work your way up so that on your first day of work it won't feel totally foreign to drop your baby off.

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Request a modified first week

Even if it means going back a few days earlier than you planned, check with your boss to see if half days might be possible for your first week or two back. Leaving is always hard but, when you only have to plan to be apart from your baby for four hours instead of eight it can seem much less daunting.

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Practice pumping

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If you're nursing and plan to pump once you head back to work make sure you practice enough to feel comfortable before your first day. Pumps can be tricky if you haven't used one before and getting used to the feeling can take time too. A few weeks before you head back to work start pumping once or twice a day right after your baby nurses. You can save what you pump now in case you have a temporary dip in supply right after going back to work.

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Pack everything the night before

The night before you go back to work is going to be tough. You might experience stress, fear, excitement, nervousness, and anticipation all at once. Ease your feelings of stress by packing everything both you and baby will need for your day apart the night before so you'll be able to take it easy and enjoy your morning as best you can.

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5 Ways to Ease Your Back to Work Transition

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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