maternity leave essential items tips hr human resources

Five insanely useful resources for a successful maternity leave

Pickle Planet is pleased to welcome Shauna Cole, a New Brunswick mother and human resources professional, to share some insight for moms transitioning between career and parenting. Be sure to check out her 17 questions you must ask your employer before going on maternity leave too!

When it comes to maternity l, we tend to spend lots of time focusing on what we need for baby gear around the house. Sure, baby gear is really important (don’t even get me started on how long I spent researching high chairs!) but spending some time focusing on yourself is really important too.

We need to make time and space to focus on the self-care pieces of motherhood. I have five insanely useful resources that can ensure your success as you go through this transition. These resources are about getting the focus away from the baby-related items and shifted back to you — for a minute, anyways.

1. A Fancy Notebook And Pen

Okay, okay a notebook in itself is not life changing. The purpose of this notebook might be, though!

I want you to go buy yourself a fancy notebook and pen. Use these items to document all of your maternity leave related stuff.  Here, I want you to focus on getting yourself organized and writing down all of those things that are taking up space in that beautiful brain of yours. Record things like key dates, appointments, contacts, your Employment Insurance login details, etc. Whatever is driving you crazy, I want you to write it down to take care of your gorgeous brain and sanity (or insanity). Having everything in a single place will help alleviate some stress by making you feel more organized.

2. Some Good Reads

When you’re taking a break from ‘What To Expect When You’re Expecting’, make time to focus on your time beyond the belly. There are some great books available that will help you through the latter stages of your motherhood transition that may include getting back to work. This transition requires a lot of effort and I recommend you start thinking about it sooner rather than later so you can start to wrap your head around it. I urge you to check out:

Back To Work After Baby: How To Plan And Navigate a Mindful Return by Lori Mihalich-Levin

Working Mother Magazine calls this book “every ambitious new mother’s bible. This is the read for career-minded moms who want to continue to grow their careers through the transition to motherhood.”

I Quit! Oh Wait, I’m the Mom by Michelle McVittie

This book gets the focus back on taking care of yourself. When you take care of yourself you will be a better mother and partner, and a happier version of yourself.

3. A Personal or Professional Development Course

You might have the experience of losing yourself through maternity leave. You might crave some sort of intellectual stimulation and adult interaction. There are so many options available online, why not check out a course to get this stimulation and get smarter while on maternity leave? Maybe there’s something offered through your work, a designation or even a softer skill you’d like to work on. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn photography. Now would be a good time to sign up for something for when you do get those pockets of time (when baby is, hopefully, sleeping).

4. Podcasts

The Longest Shortest Time The programming offers stories about raising kids and what you learn about yourself as you do. The stories are compelling and sometimes controversial, getting you to think differently about your own parenting style and yourself too.

The Pickle Planet Podcast (of course!) Jenna and Tosh share engaging discussions on parenthood and local issues.

5. An Awesome Diaper Bag

The diaper bag is just as much for Mom as it is for baby. This is a resource you’ll be lugging around for months, maybe even years, to come. Take some time researching what will work best for you and your lifestyle. I also suggest treating yourself. You’ll be looking at this thing every single day!

That’s it! My five must-have items to help smooth the transition from career to mat leave and back.

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Shauna Cole is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources with a Master’s Degree in Business and Undergraduate Degree in Communications. She lives in a house filled with boys; her partner and their two sons. You can find more on her website. You should also read her 17 questions you must ask your employer before going on maternity leave.



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