4 Tips to make returning to work after maternity leave easier

4 Tips to make returning to work after maternity leave easier

I’ve been back at work for 2 months now and I remember that first morning drive in like it was yesterday. Going back after maternity leave was something I knew would be hard to do. Funnily I didn’t feel sad that I had left my baby.  He was with my mum and I knew he was well looked after.  But I still cried, I cried because I was going back to work, because my maternity leave was over and my bubble was broken.

I had started becoming more and more anxious about going back to work two months before I was due back.  I didn’t do any KIT days, firstly because I had no childcare to do them, and secondly, I just didn’t feel like it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, I wouldn’t give up the career I have made for love nor money.  Yet this dread washed over me.  I work as a nurse and things are always changing in the workplace, policies change, routines change, and staff change.  Going back after a 13 month break is hard.  Getting myself out of the house, dressed and ready is hard on a normal day, but making sure that I’m ready as well as making sure my child has everything ready as well.

I’m massively unorganised, I never remember to do things when they need to be done and I’m barely ever prepared ahead of time.  So going back to work and needing to make sure I’ve sorted myself as well as Oliver was a big change!

So here are my top 4 tips for going back to work:

Be prepared

Whether it be getting your bag ready the night before, or making sure you’ve laid out your clothes, being prepared is always number one!  I always make sure I make my lunch, iron my uniform and pack Oliver’s bag the night before.  I also lay out his clothes so when Stu gets him ready in the morning he looks acceptable (because we all know men never dress them in coordinated items!).

Remember it is good for you

It’s good to have that time where you are just you, not mummy.  You have a chance to utilise your knowledge and skills, to show yourself you can do it!  It’s also good to show your child that justbecause you are a mother you don’t have to give up who you were before, what you have worked hard to become!

It’s good for your child too 

Being left with someone other than you and learning to spend time away from you is always going to be good.  If they are with a childminder or in a nursery, they are also learning to socialise with other children, be it older or younger.  It’s all aiding in their development.

Don’t get worked up

This is one piece of advice I wish I had taken.  I got myself so worked up on my first day back, and actually it was fine.  Ten times better than I thought it would be.  Just take it easy on those first few days back, don’t put to much on your plate, don’t be afraid to say no and don’t be afraid to ask.  Nobody is expecting you to be at the top of your game on your first week back!

So there are my top 4 tips for going back to work after maternity leave.  Do you have any advice for mums going back?

This post first appeared on Meet Other Mums where I am a regular blogger.  Please go and check it out as there are some brilliant other blogs there!


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  1. May 8, 2017 / 8:15 pm

    Great tips. I love that you say it is good for you to get back to work, and good for your child. When I went back to teaching last year, the organisation part took me a long time to get to grips with – still run out the door like a whirlwind, and screaming at the kids to try to get them to breakfast club on time. #bigpinklink

  2. May 9, 2017 / 10:38 am

    I’m so glad it went well! I’ve never had a career and so have not had anything to go back to but I have my own business and my children have been going to nursery/preschool a few mornings a week so I can work since they were young and I think it’s been great for all of us to have time apart. It makes our time together even more special and I know that I am a better mum for the break. Thanks for linking up with the #bigpinklink
    Louise Pink Pear Bear recently posted…The perils of parenting older children.My Profile

    • May 9, 2017 / 11:02 am

      Definitely, it helps to have a break from each other. As much as I love Oliver now he’s on the move he’s such hard work and that break means I enjoy him more instead of feeling like I’m going mad! 😂

  3. May 12, 2017 / 10:17 pm

    Some helpful tips here. I always think you have to be pragmatic about these changing situations, makes them so much easier if you’re worried about them. #sharingthebloglove
    Emma T recently posted…This boy says no to Disney filmsMy Profile

  4. May 14, 2017 / 1:06 pm

    I’m so pleased you’ve settled back into the swing of things reasonably easily. These are great tips. The one about remembering that it’s good for your child really sticks with me. I read lots of advice and research about how nurseries were so damaging for children under a certain age, and especially boys, and I really worried about putting Max into that situation. But I honestly think it’s the best thing I could have done for him. He’s learnt so much from being at nursery that I never could have taught him if it was just us, and although we have our ups and downs with drop offs, I know he loves it there. Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • May 15, 2017 / 9:31 pm

      Thanks Katy! I think the key thing is to find somewhere you’re really happy with and can see your child being settled. I completely agree about them learning a lot more, even though Oliver’s been only going to the childminder for a couple of months he has started learning things that I know I haven’t taught him and he is much more keen to explore and socialise with children of all ages which I don’t think would have happened if he didn’t go!

  5. May 14, 2017 / 5:16 pm

    Im so glad hubby isnt the only one thats crap at co-ordinating an outfit! You have some really good tips here which the organisational freak in me already had in place pre-baby but it works i tell you! prepping the night before means more sleep the next day hahaha!
    Thanks for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back on Tuesday lovely! x

    • May 15, 2017 / 9:27 pm

      I wasn’t that organised to have it sorted pre baby! My husband comes up with bizarre outfits or weather in appropriate ones, it’s quite funny though!!

  6. May 14, 2017 / 5:41 pm

    These are great tips and ones I would echo having experienced the whole back to work thing. It’s surprising how much w eget caught up in the maternity leave bubble isn’t it? It’s almost not real life! Thanks for linking up to #TriumphantTales, really hope to see you back on Tuesday 🙂

    • May 15, 2017 / 9:26 pm

      Thanks, oh we definitely do and when it ends you feel like you’ve been smacked in the face with reality!

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