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Preparing To Return To Work After Maternity Leave: Tips from a St. Louis Therapist

A mom stands in her office holding a tablet. Therapists near me at Marble Wellness in St. Louis, MO 63011 help moms mentally prepare to return to work after maternity leave.

Going back to work after maternity leave can be a tough experience for many moms. It’s hard to even think about adding work responsibilities on top of caring for a baby. Along with this, you might be anxious about spending time away from your child, or about managing the unknowns of a new routine.

Asking for advice from friends or trusted colleagues who have experienced this transition can help you learn what to expect. You can also read tips from experts on how to make your return as smooth as possible. While others’ experiences may be different from yours, hearing some ideas from women who have gone through this process can be helpful.

Just as gaining information and advice can be worthwhile, there are also things you can do to mentally prepare for this transition. By doing some mental prep before going back to work, you can find ways to conquer any fears and worries.

By learning to understand your feelings, prioritize your emotional well-being, and practice self-compassion, you can have a smoother and less traumatic transition back into the working world.

Our St. Louis therapist offers tips on mentally preparing to return to work after maternity leave:

1. Acknowledge Your Feelings

The first step in mentally preparing to go back to work is acknowledging and validating your emotions. It's common to feel a mix of excitement, guilt, sadness, and anxiety. These feelings are totally normal and don't diminish your love for your child. Give yourself permission to feel and process these emotions without self-judgment or guilt.

A woman holds a briefcase in her office. Marble Wellness specializes in therapy for moms in Missouri and Illinois through in-person therapy, virtual therapy, and park therapy.

2. Practice Self-Compassion

Be kind and patient with yourself as you navigate this new chapter of your life. There will be ups and downs, and that’s okay. Acknowledge your efforts, celebrate small victories, and give yourself permission to make mistakes. Remember, you are doing the best you can, and being hard on yourself won’t make things any easier.

3. Embrace Small Steps

Instead of only focusing on the big picture, break the transition into smaller, more manageable steps. Celebrate each milestone along the way, whether it's successfully transitioning your baby to childcare or completing your first week back at work. By acknowledging and celebrating these smaller achievements, you build confidence and motivation for the journey ahead. And if you do have major struggles, this focus can help them not to feel so catastrophic.

4. Let Go Of Perfection

Along with practicing self-compassion, simply accepting the fact that sometimes things will go wrong can do so much to build up your mental resilience. You’re not always going to handle things perfectly or even well, but that’s okay. If you go into the transition thinking you can avoid all problems by working hard enough or being vigilant enough, you’re going to be crushed when an inevitable mistake happens.

If you start accepting that life happens and you’re only human, you will be able to roll with the messes and disasters much easier. You’re not being pessimistic if you do this; you’re just acknowledging that you’re doing a hard thing and sometimes it might not go perfectly. Trust that you’re doing your best, and let the rest go.

A woman works on her laptop in her office. Working with a therapist can ease the transition back to work after maternity leave. Marble Wellness in St. Louis, MO 63011 helps mom through life transitions.

Going back to work after maternity leave can be a challenge. But by mentally preparing for this next stage, you can develop the resilience you need to navigate whatever ups and downs come your way.

Trust yourself and believe in your capabilities. It may be hard, but you can do it!

If you would like help navigating your return to work, contact us at Marble Wellness. Our therapists are experienced in working with moms, and we will match you with someone who can guide and support you as you go through this transition. No matter how well you’ve prepared, having someone there as you start the next step of your journey can make things a little easier.

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Marble Wellness is a therapy practice in Ballwin, MO 63011 that offers therapy for depression, therapy for anxiety, grief counseling, couples counseling, and therapy for kids and teenagers.

Additional Counseling Services at Marble Wellness in St. Louis, MO and Chicago, IL

Counseling services designed to help set you on a path of living a more fulfilled, calm, and happy life.

St. Louis

Our St. Louis team of therapists have a variety of training backgrounds and areas of expertise. We specialize in anxiety, depression, grief, chronic illness, therapy for men, couples, and maternal overwhelm. We can also help new moms with various postpartum concerns, moms in the thick of parenting, and moms with teens. We can also chat from wherever you are in the state with online therapy in Missouri and online therapy in Illinois. No matter where you are in your journey, we would love to support you.


Our Chicago team of therapists offer a wide range of mental health services to help our clients through the different challenges and hurdles in their life. In addition to anxiety, depression, grief, therapy for men, and maternal overwhelm, we are specialized in professional burnout, therapy for breakups, and love partnering with working moms.

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