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Tips For New Working Parents image

On August 11th, I posted on Instagram asking our Sola fam to share tips for new parents as I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of my first baby. I received so much love and support (and much-needed advice!), which I compiled in a blog to share with the rest of our community. Three short days later, I welcomed a sweet little man, Lucas Wolff Hertzberg, to the world and my life was forever changed. I’m so grateful to those who submitted their advice and warm wishes; I relied on those tips more than I ever imagined!

Twelve weeks later as I wrapped up my maternity leave, I posted on Instagram again…this time asking for advice for working parents getting ready to return from maternity/paternity leave. As promised, here are the tips shared by a few inspiring working mamas and papas:

@amandainreverie: I honestly really struggled with the adjustment going back after both maternity leaves. There was a mourning period for me because it felt like as soon as we found our new groove, it had to change again and I felt really guilty. What helped me more than anything was having support by connecting with other working moms and knowing I wasn’t alone in how was feeling. It took some time, but eventually, there was a sense of equanimity. Know that always, whether you are right there at home or working away from home, you are enough ❣️

@kimi_kisses: Know that It’s different for everyone. Give yourself permission to create the best way it works for you and your family. Try not to fit into a mold of what it looks like from what others do. Take each day in…remember what didn’t work and change it. Think about what does work and built on that and make it better. Each day is a lesson. If you can, ease back in and don’t go back full blast. The good news is that working will make being home with your babe feel even sweeter than it did before. 

@jorofowo: It’s going to feel crazy at times and that’s ok! It won’t always feel like that 💕

@ajr337: When you leave work for the day, leave work, and be with your family. The work will be there tomorrow. The snuggles are better, the smiles are better, and continue to take a picture a day. The days will blend, but the sweet pictures keep you going when you don’t feel like you’re in the right place in that moment. I’m a better mom because I work and it’s ok to know that.

@jlkw1955: Become a juggler. It happens automatically! (This tip is from my own mama ;)) Ease into it if you can! The first few days is the hardest.

@lorangojorg: You don’t have to be everything for everyone all of the time. Focus on who you need to in the present moment. The first day is the hardest, it really does get easier every day. 

@mimi_garner: Be kind to yourself 💙

@ashleywhitestudio: Emotions run high when returning back to work from maternity leave. Not only are you battling hormone adjustments from what your body just accomplished, but you’re also making another transition. This time you’re going from mom to working mom, and it can be tough. Don’t let the mom guilt take over or steal your joy. I found it best to ease into this change slowly. I wasn’t the same person I was before and I needed a little extra time to transition. You probably will too, just to find a groove and figure out what works best for you and your family. Start with a lighter schedule and then make tweaks and adjustments as needed. Remember to give yourself grace as you figure out what is best in your new role of motherhood. I have also found that even though my kids are older, every few months I’m evaluating and adjusting my schedule to fit my family’s needs, and that is okay! Figure out what works best for you and your time and go from there. You are in control of your schedule and your time, use it wisely! 

Now that I’m into my second week of work post-maternity leave, I’ve compiled a few tips of my own to add to this list:

  • Take time for yourself every. single. day. Whether it’s a few extra minutes in the shower to breathe or a structured morning or evening routine, it’s important to take care of you. You can’t pour from an empty cup! 
  • Whether I can find 5 or 25 minutes in the morning, I’ve made time for self-care every single day before work. I drink a big glass of water, meditate (sometimes only for 3 minutes if that’s all I have!), stretch, and write in my Five Minute Journal. It’s amazing how much self-care you can show yourself even if you only have a few minutes! Here’s a quick breakdown of self-care in 7 minutes: 
    • Minutes 1-3: Meditate. Focus on your breath. Be present. 
    • Minutes 3-5: Write down or think about 3 things you’re grateful for and set your daily intention. 
    • Minutes 5-7: Stretch and drink a big glass of water. 
  • At the end of the day, I revisit my Five Minute Journal and reflect on the day. It takes two minutes and makes all the difference! 
  • Be present. In the mornings, I wake up and spend time with Lucas first. I do not look at email or social media until I’ve had ample quality time with my little guy. I wait until he’s down for his nap (or until I have an extra set of hands to help!) to start on my morning routine. 
  • Exercise. I make sure to get my 10,000 steps in every day.
  • Show yourself some gratitude. I try to remember to thank my body for all that it’s done for me and I tell myself that I am enough. Thanks to @amandainreverie for sharing that amazing tip 💛
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