You understand your company’s maternity leave policy, have saved your vacation days and marked your due date on everyone’s calendar but then what? Here are seven tips to ensure you are fully prepared to head out on your maternity leave:
- Be ready at 37 weeks. Set this as your goal to have your projects transitioned, email cleaned out and personal belongings removed from your office. You will be able to spend your last few weeks ensuring you have answered everyone’s questions and can leave with a clear head.
- Before you leave set rules about when and how you can be contacted while on your maternity leave. Don’t feel guilty if you decide you don’t want to be available at all but be clear about that before you leave.
- Plan your partner’s time off as well. Many company’s today offer some paternity time (even if it is limited) but it may be a benefit your partner isn’t aware of. If no paternity time is available decide how much vacation or sick time your partner will take right after the baby arrives. You may decide that time will be better spent supporting you as your maternity leave comes to and end and you prepare to go back to work.
- If you are entitled to paid time off during your maternity leave, create a file now to keep track of those payments. You may be getting paid through disability, vacation and/or another source and you want to ensure you are able to keep track of those payments so you can easily contact someone in your HR department if there is a discrepancy.
- Speak to other women in your office that have recently returned from maternity leave. Find out what their struggles were, what worked well for them and if they have any tips to have a smooth transition out on maternity leave and coming back to work to your office.
- Plan childcare now. Once you return to work you want to ensure that your child is in the best hands possible and that you are 100% comfortable with your child’s caregiver. The first big decision to make is whether to hire a nanny or send your child to a daycare center. There are pros and cons to each but you will need to decide based on your family’s unique needs including your travel schedule, budget and overall personal preference. If you choose daycare, ensure you start researching centers ASAP because the best daycare centers often have very long wait lists.
- Take advantage of your weekends now to prepare the nursery, put together all the baby gear and pack your hospital bag. For 7 other things to do while you wait for baby’s arrival check out https://babynavbabyplanners.com/7-things-while-you-.
Your first weeks and months at home with your baby will be some of the most important and special time you have together. Take the time before you head out on maternity leave to prepare so you aren’t distracted with work!
Looking for tips to financially prepare for your maternity leave? Check this out from my friends at Credit Card Insider: http://www.creditcardinsider.com/insider/ask-the-experts-top-10-maternity-leave-tips/.
Happy Preparing! xoxo, Julie