Your Back-to-Work After Maternity Leave Bucket List


by: Kristina Cross

Originally, I was writing this post in anticipation to my return from work after 14 months of maternity leave.  I wanted to make a list of things to do before my triumphant return.  But here I sit, late at night with the kids soundly asleep and my body begging for sleep.  It’s currently night three since I started working full-time again.  And I’m just tired.

For all of you moms out there who, like me, had the benefit of having a year off after baby, I would highly recommend crafting a “back to work” bucket list before you return to work.  List your important, must-do items to make your transition back to work that much more manageable.  Here are five things that were on my bucket list:

  1. Label your kid(s) clothing and personal items:  If you’re putting your kids in daycare, it’s usually a requirement to label everything that belongs to your child(ren).  Although my mother-in-law is looking after my kids while hubby and I work, I still took the time to label their belongings so it didn’t get mixed up with their cousins’ stuff.  Plus with my son going to preschool in September, I’ve already got one thing crossed off the back-to-school list!
  2. Prepare your kids for earlier mornings:  Gradually ease your kids into early mornings by putting them to bed 10-15 minutes earlier and waking them up 10-15 minutes earlier until you reach your desired bedtime/wake-up time.  This is one thing I should have done since my kids had the habit of waking up between 8:30 – 10:30am while I was off work.  I planned to gradually ease into early mornings a couple weeks before I was due back to work but it just didn’t happen.  You can only imagine what our household has been like this past week!
  3. Enjoy your last few weeks of freedom:  You’re going back to work in a few weeks so why not take the kids out and enjoy the city?!  Visit local attractions and, if the weather is nice, spend your days outdoor at the beach or park.
  4. Date night:  Hire a sitter and have a date night with your husband or significant other before the back-to-work chaos begins.  You’ll never know when you’ll have time (or be awake enough) for your next date night!
  5. Prepare your mind:  Your year off probably felt shorter than it actually was and your mind is probably still in a blissful vacation mode.  Mentally prepare yourself by planning out your days from the minute you wake up to the minute you put your kids to sleep.  After your kids are in bed, try to use that time to unwind and relax – if even for a few minutes.

Best of luck with your transition!

Kristina Cross is a family & lifestyle blogger at SwankMama.  She is also a wine lover and recovering shopaholic trying her best to live a healthier lifestyle (green smoothies anyone?).   In addition, she constantly chronicles her daily activities on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter (@swankmama).


  1. 1

    Great advice! How I wish that I had seen this a couple weeks ago. My first day back to work (after my year leave)is today!

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