Nothing complicates a new mom’s feelings like an intense countdown. Say what you will about maternity leave, but I’d venture to say that many of us (lucky enough to even have it) found the expiring time frame to be an extra stress during an already stressful time. Thankfully, I had a supportive partner and family members around me when I was on maternity leave, who helped in a number of crucial ways. I can’t speak for everyone, but I felt like I needed to have a certain level of comfort with my role as a mom before I officially became a "working mom," a level of comfort that was pretty much impossible for me to achieve by myself. So, not only are was I a new mom attempting to adjust to, well, motherhood, I was a new mom "on the clock," and the learning curve prior to my maternity leave's expiration date was unkind, at best.
For me, maternity leavewas one long, caffeine-fueled, bleary-eyed family bonding experience. Not only did I have family members coming and going constantly, but I had my partner pretty much around at all times. He's a school teacher, and summer break coincided with my maternity leave. I mean, for this new mother, the timing couldn't have been more perfect.
However, don’t fret if the timing of your maternity leave doesn't pan out the way I did. Trust me when I say that your partner doesn't need to be on vacation to help you adjust to new motherhood before you go back to work. In fact, there’s plenty of ways to support a mom on maternity leave, including but not limited to: