Maternity Leave: Tips for Staying Connected
Maternity leave is a special time – one that often goes by too quickly – for moms to bond with the littlest of newcomers in their lives. However, despite its many wonderful upsides, sometimes maternity leave can leave mom feeling a bit disconnected. Often a big change in a new mom’s daily routine, transitioning into maternity leave can be difficult for some who are used to having a lot of face-to-face time with family, friends, coworkers and all of the people in their lives.
Our Family Room bloggers share some tips for staying connected while on maternity leave. Whether it be with family, friends or coworkers, here are some strategies these experienced moms suggest for avoiding feeling disconnected while on leave.
Tips for Staying Connected While On Maternity Leave
Kris-Ann: Keep in touch with friends – personal friends and those from work. Visit for lunch or coffee. They’ll fill you in on all the gossip…and important work info too. However, particularly where it comes to work, if you don’t want to stay connected, don’t. While you’re out, you’re out and unless you’ve made some kind of arrangement with your manager, there’s no need to set the expectation you’ll check in or keep up on things.
Mary: Email! In addition, any time I nursed I always prepped by having my phone and computer within reach. You’re kind of stuck on the couch for 20-30 minutes so this was a good time to catch up.
Media Mom: In terms of staying connected to those at work, I checked e-mail a few times a week, even if I didn’t reply, just to know what was going on in my office. I also visited with my babies and invited close colleagues to come visit us at home. I also had one key project that I worked on during each of my maternity leaves. It was a project I loved that I could contribute a few hours a week and be helpful, and which I had a close colleague managing so she could understand if I just needed to back out.
Amy: Social media or online parenting communities are great ways to connect with others while on maternity leave. You can jump on at any time of the day and typically there are people available to chat or connect with. I also would suggest inviting close friends over to visit with you and your baby. Don’t worry if your floors aren’t as clean as you’d like or that there are dishes and laundry piled up. Your family and friends won’t mind. You can also leave the baby with your partner or a relative for an hour or two to grab a coffee or tea with a friend. Even an hour can rejuvenate a tired new mom or dad.
Heather: I checked my work email several times a week. I don’t think I responded to anything other than a quick hi, but it was nice to feel like I was somewhat “in the loop”. Make time to meet friends for coffee or lunch, and don’t hesitate to invite people to stop by any time to say hi and hold the baby. I joined a new mom support group through my hospital when my daughter was 6 weeks old. While it didn’t help me stay connected to my pre-baby circle, it did help me to not feel quite so alone in my parenting journey. It was really nice to spend time with mothers of babies who were almost the exact same age – it was an amazing way to find support and share some laughs with other people who would “get it.”
Jessie: During late night feedings, I used to send short emails to friends since during the day I was so busy/exhausted from a baby who didn’t love to sleep too much at first!
Lisa: Everyone has a different idea of how they want to be connected to others after having a baby. If you’re ok being inside with your baby and limiting your interaction to immediate friends and family – that’s fine. If you’re someone who needs to be out and about on the second day home, that’s great too. Don’t let anyone tell you how much (or little) you need to be socializing. Everyone has their own timeline and comfort level with how they want to reintegrate after having a baby.
Do you have any suggestions to add? How did you stay connected while on maternity leave?
- E-family news: Building Relationships with Babies
- Bright Horizons Online Community: Maternity Leave Outing Ideas
- Bright Horizons Online Community: Going Stir Crazy on Maternity Leave
- Read more posts about maternity leave and posts about infants from the Family Room bloggers
- Family Room blog: Tips for Returning to Work after Baby