As my maternity leave with Sadie officially comes to a close, I’m feeling all the feels! Sadie will soon be three months old (cue the  uncontrollable new mama tears!). I find myself counting down the minutes we have left in our little bubble before I head back to work because this time together has been truly priceless. Excited to share four ways I’m preparing for the transition back to work with you today as well as some of my favorite newborn photos of Sadie. We shot mostly lifestyle newborn photos with Naiya so this time around, we decided to switch it up with these sweet posed studio shots. Sadie has quite literally doubled in size since these photos were taken ten days after her birth. I’m grateful to have this moment frozen in time. 

1) The Pump Prep

This part does feel a bit easier the second time around but it’s still stressing me out big time! Sadie and I have had an amazing nursing journey so far (unlike my initial experience with Naiya–more about that here). That said, I worry that having to pump and be away from her throughout the work day will greatly affect our rhythm and my supply.  I’m also worried about how pumping will affect my work schedule–especially with such a long commute there and back.

To prepare, I’ve ordered a tiny cooler bag I’m loving. It’s nice and compact and comes with icepacks that fit perfectly between up to six pump bottles. I’m planning to feed Sadie right before leaving each morning so that I won’t have to pump until about an hour and a half into being at work. I will pump three times there every 3-4 hours. I also bought an electrical plug for my car so that I’m able to pump while driving.    2) Letting Go Of The Mom Guilt

I’ve been feeling a lot of mom guilt recently because I’m going back to the office so soon after having Sadie. I had another 6 weeks off from this point on with Naiya because my company at the time had a different maternity leave policy (more here). At just under three months old, I know Sadie needs me but I also know I need to keep working for our family. It’s such a catch 22! Both worlds are tugging at my heartstrings constantly and I don’t want either side to suffer.

The only way I’m getting through this time in one piece is through giving myself permission to silence the mom guilt noise as much as possible.

I keep telling myself that someday, my girls will understand all of this. Leaving them all day is the hardest thing ever right now but I’m determined to also show them they have a girl boss mama who is trying to do it all for them.

I want my girls to grow up knowing that they can go after their biggest goals AND become loving mamas too. There was a time in my career when I didn’t fully believe this would be possible. So happy I went for it because no matter what career path you’ve chosen, it’s just not the case.  You can make it all work–you just have to strive to strike the balance that works best for you and your family.

3) Cue The Tears–#Sorrynotsorry

I’m not going to lie: the past few days, I’ve been sobbing my eyes out. Every time I look at Naiya and Sadie, my heart melts and I can’t believe I’m about to leave them during the day. Likewise, to prepare for the end of maternity leave, I’ve given myself permission to cry and to really feel the intensity of this moment.

After my maternity leave with Naiya, I remember crying so hard the entire way to work for a number of days. I was a complete mess wondering if everything would ever get better. Luckily, each and every day did get better and better so this time around, I know more about what to expect. I’m bracing myself for a very hard first day but from there, I know everything will start looking up.

4) Podcasts For Inspo

After having Naiya, I went on a podcast tear. I’d listen to my favorites every day and I loved that they made me feel more like me again.  As much as I don’t mind changing poopy diapers and cleaning up spit up all day, podcasts helped me to get inspired as a creative adult once again.

This time around, my commute to work can be up to 1.5 hours each way depending on traffic. Needless to say,  mama needs something to keep her occupied and inspired in the car once again.

The latest podcasts I’ll be armed with include: Skimm’d From The Couch, Straight Up With Stassi, With Whit, Goal Digger, She Did It Her Way and Girlboss Radio. I happen to love podcasts featuring entrepreneurial women and their stories. I also shared some other podcasts I’ve been loving in this article here..

If you know of any others you suggest I download, please let me know more in the comment section below!

What Did You Do After Baby In Terms of Work?

Did you decide to stay home after baby or go back to work? What was your experience like as you moved from the “fourth trimester”  into the next stage with your baby or babies? What did you learn about yourself during this time? Tell me all the things in the comments section below!  Photography: Ramina Magid