When I left to start my maternity leave, I knew I wouldn't be returning. I was a teacher and my school was closing down, a decision announced around the time I realized I was pregnant. Sure, it wasn't the best planning on behalf of my bump, but, hey, life happens! Even though I knew I was essentially saying goodbye to my familiar desk, there were some things I made sure to do before I left. Turns out, they included things every mom should do before going on maternity leave.
I was very lucky that I qualified for maternity benefits (I live in Canada, so yay) and I had at least a year at home with my baby before I needed to even thinking about becoming part of the working world again. In Canada, this amount is made up of maternity and parental benefits which represents 55 percent of the mother’s wage up to a maximum payout. The United States remains the only industrialized country not to provide paid leave to new mothers; a travesty I can't personally speak to.
Because my school closed down, I had to contend with the fact that I didn't have a secure job to return to after my leave ended. Job hunting while looking after an infant is not much fun, trust me. However, due to a little forward planning and a few of the following steps that I took before I went on maternity leave, the transition was made a little smoother.