Going Back To Work After Having A Baby
Going Back To Work After Baby
Going back to work after having your little one can be a challenge. For many of us the first few months of our child’s life is the most precious but also the most challenging. The sleepless nights, and crazy schedule of balancing work and family life, coupled with the emotional turmoil that comes with leaving your new born baby to return to your work place, makes this a hard time for any mother. Its perfectly normal to be overwhelmed. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help make the transition of going back to work a little less painful.
Do Some Pre-Planning
One of the first things you need to do before returning to work is to plan. There is no such thing as being too prepared. Life with kids is hectic and the best secret to achieving a good balance in work and family life is to have a good plan in place ahead of time. The last thing you want is to be scrambling the last few weeks to find good quality child care or to plan how your daily routine is going to go. Try to get a workable plan in place as early as possible:
- Find good quality childcare- Are you going to be relying on daycare/ professional care giver, or do you have a friend/family member in mind to care for your little one while your away at work? Either way this is probably the first thing you should figure out. I suggest looking into your childcare options well before baby even arrives. Many childcare facilities have waiting lists for newborns or there may a lengthy process to enroll them. A lot of times there is a lot of paperwork, possible doctor’s visits, and shot records that go along with enrolling your child at one of these care facilities. Do your research visit and tour the facility. Try to reach out to other parents that have experience with them and see what the general consensus is. A good quality daycare is going to come highly recommended. Knowing your little one is in good hand while you’re at work is a peace of mind you cannot afford to be without.
- Are you going to be pumping while at work or switching to formula? Either way you will need to plan this out ahead of time especially if your child normally breastfeeds exclusively. Switching to the bottle may be a challenge and not one you want to face the day your returning to work. Give your little one plenty of time to adjust to bottle feeding before the big day. Find a good quality pump designed for daily use. Honestly you should probably begin pumping a few weeks in advance to ensure you have a strong milk supply and enough milk frozen to feed your baby throughout the day.
- Meal planning- I cannot advocate this enough. There’s nothing harder than coming home after a long day of work, having a little one needing your attention, and trying to get a healthy meal on the table. Get out your crockpot and some big casserole dishes and start planning out some healthy meals you can prepare ahead of time. I love my crockpot every Sunday afternoon I prep up all of my meals for the week place in separate freezer bags, throw them in the freezer, and thaw it in the fridge the night before. That way in the morning I can throw it in the crockpot go to work and by the time I get home dinner is ready. It’s a wonderful time saving trick and allows me to create healthy meals for my family without slaving over a stove for hours.
Prioritize Your Time
Prioritize and schedule yourself accordingly. The first few days, few weeks even after you return to work can be quite hectic. Your going to be adjusting to your new role as a parent, as well as trying to maintain your work duties and responsibilities, and keep a healthy relationship with your partner. Remember that this time can be overwhelming. It can feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day. So, try to prioritize your day and make sure you leave at least a little time for yourself. What’s the worse that could happen if you skip the dishes on Monday or put off doing that load of laundry till tomorrow. I’m not saying live like a pig or become a lazy bum, but it’s ok if you don’t get everything done. Allow yourself to be human and don’t impose unrealistic expectations on yourself.
Dealing With The Emotional Strain
Dealing with the separation is another challenge moms face when leaving their little one to return to work. It can feel like your missing out on important moments. It can be overwhelming and even depressing. Your little one may experience this as well to some degree. Separation anxiety is a very real problem for both parents and children. It’s also perfectly normal. There are a few things you can do to help minimize the emotional toll going back to work will take.
- If you have the option of taking a lunch break utilize it to visit you little one if possible or call their care provider. Just knowing how their day is going will make you feel loads better.
- Devote quality time to your little one when you get home. This is something you should make part of your daily routine. It will help ease the emotional stress of being away from your child for several hours and allows for special bonding time you may feel your missing out on.
- Plan out a mini family vacation, or just a day to be together from time to time. If you have some vacation time saved up use it for those times when it gets too overwhelming. Even just taking off a day or two from time to time can be highly beneficial.
- Talk to someone- Other moms, family, and friends can all be a great source of support. Don’t be afraid to talk out how your feeling and seek out advice or tips from others. Join a group for working mothers or just confide in that best friend you have been ignoring the last few months while gearing up for baby’s arrival. I guarantee you will find that other parents that have been where you are. If the emotional toll becomes too great talk to a healthcare professional. There are tons of resources and professionals available to help you if necessary and your doctor is probably the best person to speak with about any concerns you may be having.
Don't Be Too Hard On Yourself
Remember that going back to work after having a baby is a challenge and every parent in the history of parenting has had to deal with feeling guilty, overwhelmed, and stressed. Relax and try to enjoy this precious time. It will go by all to fast. You will adjust to your new role as a parent and be able to balance work life as well I promise it is possible. Don’t get caught up on the little things, stop smell the roses, and most importantly be confident and proud of yourself.