The first day back from maternity leave can be brutal. There's a learning curve when attempting to ease into the swing of things and, as a result, you feel out of your element (at least I did) for a while. You desperately miss your baby and all of the snuggling, daytime napping, and shirtless Netflix time you had. You have to learn a new routine that meets all your needs. It sucks. To make it suck a little less, I recommend that every mom do some things on her first day back from maternity leave.
For me, going back to work after maternity leave meant facing a giant inbox full of emails (half of which involved donuts in the break room), meeting with my boss about adjustments I wanted to make to my work schedule and work load, figuring out a new commute, child care, pumping breast milk, getting sh*t done when I felt like napping or crying, and trying to get out of the office before daycare closed. Definitely not for the weak.
There were some things I did for myself on that first day back. New clothes that fit my new body and pumping needs, makeup, coffee from my favorite shop on the way to work, and lunch at the Pakistani restaurant up the street from my office. I also took some time to reflect on what changes I wanted to make to my schedule, job duties, and office space to accommodate my needs as a working mother. Finally, I just tried to stay steady and not get overwhelmed by the intensity of it all. So, with that in mind, here are a few things that worked for me to make my first day back bearable.