5 things to smoothen your transition to life before pregnancy

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5 things to smoothen your transition to life before pregnancy

Motherhood is a beautiful experience for many people. The relationships between you and your loved one changes after the responsibilities and expectations of parenthood are put on you. As your baby grows, there is an expectation that you will go back to things the way they were.

For working individuals, this mainly means going back to work post parental leave. And for others it means getting back to household chores and running errands that you used to take care of before having a baby.

It is not easy to balance your new responsibilities of parenthood with your other responsibilities. This can be a difficult transition and can feel even more challenging due to postpartum emotions, hormonal changes, and lack of sleep. 

You may experience anxiety or a whole flood of other emotions like:

  • Chronic worry
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Excitement
  • Sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Guilt


But just remember to be gentle with yourself. This transition may take more than a few days. You could need a few weeks or months to get into the swing of things. Give yourself time to adjust and try not to be so hard on yourself. When you’re in the midst of transitioning back to your pre-pregnancy life, here are a few ways you can support your mental and emotional health:

  • Take care of yourself


Take some time throughout the day to check in with yourself. Ask yourself how you’re feeling, how you’re managing your stress, or if you need help in any way. Pay attention to what you’re feeling – physically and emotionally. Don’t suppress your feelings. Take time to express yourself, be it through journaling, talking with your partner, friend, or family member, or seeking guidance from a mental health professional. Make time for the things that will bring you joy — whether that’s taking a bubble bath, going for a quick walk outside, doing yoga, or catching up with a friend for coffee. You can also engage in self-care practices such as mindfulness which helps you stay in the present. Such a practice will help you better enjoy the moments of laughter and happy moments throughout the day.

  • Make arrangements for your Baby


It can be helpful to spend some time putting together a plan for how you manage your time. Working through some of the logistics in advance can take some of the stress off your shoulders. If you are going back to work, start looking for childcare. This can include asking your friends or family to babysit, hiring a caretaker, or enrolling your child in a daycare. Have a few trial runs with your childcare provider so that you and your baby can get used to the pick-up and drop-off routine. This practice will give you more confidence as you head back to work. 

Even after all your efforts to create a schedule and plan, things may not always go as expected. That’s why it’s helpful to have a back-up childcare plan if your primary childcare falls through or your little one gets sick. 

Have a couple back-up childcare options: a family member, friend, or paid professional (your primary childcare provider may have some recommendations!). And test out these options before you go back to work so that you and your little one can feel more comfortable. 

  • Communicate with those around you


Your partner has probably been making a lot of adjustments and modifications as your lives 

changed after having a baby. Communicate any change of plans or modifications so that you and your partner are on the same page. This also allows both of you to share your expectations and schedules with each other. Make sure to appreciate your partner during this time and plan time for just the two of you to reconnect.

  • Ask for the help you need 


Your first week back at juggling various responsibilities will probably be pretty tiring, no matter how much you plan ahead! If you are going back to a workplace, start back at work in the middle of the week to give yourself a bit of a break. You can also try easing back into work — either working a few shorter weeks (3-4 days per week), taking a couple half days each week, or even starting part time before transitioning back to full time. Keep lines of communication between you and your manager open so they are aware of the requirements you have. Asking for the help you need before you even return to work can ease some of your worries as you prepare to start back in the office. This could mean having a quick phone call or sending an email to your boss or HR to ask questions or make any requests that you have. Reach out to other working parents — either friends or coworkers — to see how they balance work and home life duties. This can give you ideas to set you and your family up for success along with practical tips to help manage those difficult situations that come up.

It’s also a good idea to gather your “support team” outside of work. Think of the village of people that will help make your transition back to work the easiest. This could be friends, family, neighbors, or childcare providers. Talk to these individuals and ask for their support. You’ll feel much more confident and at ease returning to work, knowing that you have a whole community that has your back.

  • Be flexible


Some parents find that it’s helpful to adjust your work schedule after having a baby. This could mean working from home a couple days a week or opting to work flexible hours. Have a conversation with your partner, co-parent, or support network about what type of schedule works best for everyone. This can make it easier to navigate childcare and balance responsibilities. You may need to set new boundaries to ensure that you have a healthy work/life balance. Talk to your boss and colleagues to let them know you need to leave by a certain time each day or that you won’t be available for work after hours. Setting these expectations early will give your team time to adapt and learn how to work with your schedule/needs. And whether it’s asking for assistance on a project or requesting an extended deadline. There’s no reason to be shy about asking for help or protecting your boundaries. You’ve got a lot on your plate!

You can also set these boundaries in your personal life. Maybe you can’t join back certain classes, or meet your friends as regularly. Let them know what your boundaries and requirements are and try to find a middle ground. This will give you the opportunity to clearly communicate your boundaries and what support you need from them.

Don’t expect to be the same person that you were before having your child. You have a whole new person depending on you and a lot of new priorities to balance. That’s why time management is so important. Prioritize your daily tasks — focusing on the vital tasks that need to be accomplished today. Try to delegate tasks when you can. And remove non-essential tasks from your plate altogether so that you can focus on what really matters. 

While transitioning from your role as a new mom to taking care of all your previous responsibilities can be difficult, a little planning and preparing can keep you ready for the future and help you better manage your emotional and mental well-being.


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