Congratulations! The day you’ve been waiting for has finally arrived.
While we hope you are staying pretty far away from your email this week, we do want to share some very brief thoughts about what we think you should NOT do during your first week of maternity leave.
If you’re like most women, you’ve just spent the first few days of your maternity leave in your scratchy open-backed hospital gown, trying to maintain your dignity while suffering the pain and discomfort of pushing a small human out of your body. This means: You. Need. To. Rest.
If you need more clarity, it means turning off your phone, eating, sleeping, and letting your family and spouse take care of you whenever humanly possible. And of course, you should be bonding with your precious little one.
From what we recall and from what many new moms tell us, the first week can feel utterly exhilarating and confusing. Days and nights blend into each other, but many of us have a burst of adrenaline during this week while we undergo a rite of passage as we learn to change our first 20 dirty diapers.
Do yourself a simple favor when it comes to work this week: Don’t do any.
Yes, we know there are emergencies. But it’s just one week. Sleep as much as you can, fumble around with breastfeeding (if you’re doing that) or heating up formula (if you’re going this route) and learn how to hold your baby, memorize the way your baby smells and the sound of his/her breathing.
If you find yourself tempted to pick up your phone? Take photos and send a birth announcement sharing your happy news.
But work email? It can wait. It’s just one week!