The Answers Working Moms Returning to Work Are Looking For

Returning to work after maternity leave can raise a million questions like where will you find high-quality child care or how will you manage it all. Returning to work means leaving your baby with a stranger -- what will help you adjust to a new schedule both at work and at home?

There are many questions that need to be answered and we have some of them for you. If you answer one questions at a time you will transition well back into your new role as a working mom. 

01
Preparing for Your First Day Back at Work

Smiling mother holding baby son on bed
Compassionate Eye Foundation/Steven Errico/Digital Vision/Getty Images

The moment of truth is finally coming. The bliss (or boredom) of maternity leave is over and it's time to go back to work. Whether you were home with your children for six weeks, six months, or six years, the transition can be challenging.

Use these stepping stones to find your way:

02
Setting Up Child Care for Returning to Work

After returning to work, take time for field trips
Photo by Katherine Lewis

Perhaps the most important decision in a working mom's life is who will take care of her child while she's at work. If you make the wrong decision it can damage your career and professional reputation. Think of the consequences if your nanny is perpetually late or quits unexpectedly or you choose a daycare center that sends your child home at the slightest hint of a cold.

You want to choose childcare that will make you feel supported while at work, who will go above and beyond to keep you in the loop and keep your kids happy. Take your time and find a real provider you can work well with for the next few years.

Any time is a good time to start looking at your childcare options. Also, line up fallback options in case your initial plan doesn't work out. The right path will differ for each family and work situation so take all the advice you hear in stride.

03
Working on Work/Life Balance Challenges

Returning to work is fun with these adorable bags
Photo courtesy of JP Lizzy

No single piece of advice will make or break your work/life balance. But many moms have gone through it before you. Read about what helped them get through the day, and you'll probably discover several ideas that will make your life easier.

From schedules to work-friendly diaper bags, here are road-tested tips for returning to work:

04
Refocusing on Your Career

Returning to work is a good time to tweak your schedule
Image Credit: George Doyle/Getty Images.

Whether you're working for the paycheck, the satisfaction, or a combination of both, you must attend to your career to be a successful working mom. When you become a working mom you may find a new perspective about your career. You realize you need to ask for a different schedule or you need more flexibility. These conversations can be difficult, especially if you're sleep deprived, but necessary for your happiness.

The rules are different for moms in the workplace. Here's a playbook to follow:

05
Working to Live, Not Living to Work

After returning to work, you'll still come home to the family
Image Credit: Betsie Van Der Meer/Getty Images

On your deathbed, you're unlikely to wish you spent more time at the office. So how do you balance your roles as mom, worker, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and more? Start by forgetting about the way people perceive you, and focus on what matters to you. That means shedding guilt, embracing joy, and managing your personal energy.