After Maternity Leave, How To Cope With The Emotions You May Feel Before Returning To Work?


Why is it so hard to return from maternity leave?

In those first precious weeks with your little one, you are not only catering to their needs but also learning how to be a parent.

It’s normal that your priorities shift and your perspective changes. Now, with a new life ahead of you and in your arms, going back to how life was before could be impossible. As many working moms know, it's practically impossible to strike a work and life balance. Mainly because both are demanding so highly that impossibly give them the attention they need and deserve.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that mothers with younger children are less likely to be in the workforce, compared to moms with older kids. Why? Because there is a lack of flexible jobs. With younger kids, there is so much more working against you. Sickness can keep them out of daycare or preschool for days due to rules. Or the cost of childcare is too high, so staying home is more cost-effective. And at many elementary schools, after-school programs that benefit working parents aren't available until the kids are in first or second grade.


Emotions you may feel and how to cope with them?

Postpartum emotions can make returning to work more harrowing. You may feel anxiety, guilt, anger, sadness, or excitement. You need to notice your emotions and get the support you need.

1. Talk to friends, family, a parenting coach, and healthcare professionals about your decision and your feelings. Choose who you spend time with intentionally, and avoid anyone who tries to tell you what you “should” be feeling or doing.
2. Scheduling regular check-ins with your caregiver once you return to work can help ease worry throughout the day.
3. Doing yoga, meditating, or exercising can help you release pent-up anger.
4. Speak with a trained mental health professional
5. Show yourself empathy and cut yourself a break.

Overall, trust you can do it! It's a bit scary to start the first step, but believe you can come back, no matter how long you've been out.

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