This week I will be giving you some tips/hints for going back to work after maternity leave. These are my real, day to day experiences that I am sharing with you, in hopes that when it's your time that your back to work transition goes well.
Strategy #1--Take Stock of your Wardrobe.
Sounds easy right? I thought so. I did this weeks ago when I switched over my closet from my winter clothes to my summer clothes! I truly thought I was ahead of the game. I even put together some outfits--this skirt with this top... great.
So let's just say (from my experience) that you should probably try on outfits a few weeks before, first thing in the morning (especially for those nursing) and even though you tell yourself that you will lose those 5 lbs so that your outfit will look amazing, you won't, so your outfit won't. So don't kid yourself. Try on your outfits (you need at least 5 to get you through a week before you can hit a mall). Now, I am not being cruel...I am not calling you fat. Even those skinny mommies out there (I hate you all, by the way) have these problems too. Things just don't necessarily fit the same anymore. So some of those women out there who say "it's weird...I just seem to lose weight after each baby" also have similar problems to women who haven't yet lost the baby weight and are returning to work fearing the "oh... are you pregnant again?" questions from their coworkers.
So try on your clothes 3 weeks before you are due back and create a minimum of 5 outfits. Here is my reasoning behind this:
1) If you do lose those extra five pounds in the three weeks and everything is too big for you the night before--you are not going to be upset about that--so don't worry.
2) If nothing fits and everything makes you look fat, that's fine. It's three weeks. Cry, scream, do whatever you need to do. And then hit the stores for a fabulous outfit. DO NOT KID YOURSELF THAT YOU WILL LOSE THE WEIGHT IN TIME. Deal. or tell yourself that these shrunk while in your closet and you need something else. Fine. Just get yourself something new, and this way you have 3 weeks to get the clothes and get over your old body. And remember, you have three weeks to hold your little one and tell yourself that the fat and stretch marks are worth it because of this bundle of love. Then put the baby down and go do some shopping.
3) Why 5 outfits? Well, it's twofold. One, to get you through the week. Two--in case you wake up, try on one outfit and hate it. This way you have 5 chances of hitting one decent outfit.
4) Your feet may have changed. Try on your shoes and check it out. 3 weeks gives you time to wear them in a little bit.
5) Button up dress shirts are now my arch-nemesis. Be particularly careful with these ones. Your chest may have changed (let's be honest--it did change) and your back may have expanded in width and you may have love handles and back fat. So put on a nice well fitted bra when you try on your shirts and good luck. You may want to go out and get a nice flow-y shirt or wear that jacket all day long. You may need to change sizes or your at work look--either of those options may take 3 weeks to accept.
6) Finally--why did I say you need three weeks? because until you accept that you are going back to work and it is a reality you may not have dyed your hair, got a hair cut, shaved your legs, waxed, worn makeup ect. in a year--this will help you see the big picture.
Good luck. This is a hard step in the process of going back to work. But once you have completed this, you will be that much closer to being a put-together working mom.
Here is an aside: I was in denial about this back to work thing. I did not try on my outfits ahead of time. The night before was terrible. Learn from my mistake. I bought shoes the day before, will have blisters.