Returning to Work After Baby
If you read my post of tips for Maternity Leave, you know I went back to work this week. I’m happy to say I survived…and without tears, might I add. It’s amazing how much your life changes after you have a baby, in so many different ways. Then just when you start to get comfortable with your new “normal”, you go back to work and everything changes again. These last 16 weeks, my entire world revolved around my baby girl. Going back to work this week brought up a bunch of emotions that are hard to explain, but I’ll try. In some ways, working again made me feel like “me” again. But it was also hard to be back in an environment I’ve only known as a childless professional; it almost felt like I was losing some of the “mom” in me. For some of you, this probably sounds ridiculous and confusing. But many of you can probably relate.
This post is for the working mamas. If you’re returning to work soon, just know that you are amazing and strong and that being a #girlboss doesn’t make you any less of a mom. It isn’t going to be easy, but I’m sharing some tips for making the transition a little smoother.
1. GET INTO A ROUTINE EARLY
If you know you’ll need to get baby up earlier when you go back to work, try easing into that routine a couple weeks early. Being separated will be a big enough adjustment for both of you. Keeping baby’s schedule relatively the same will make it a little easier. We started our new schedule 2 weeks before I went back to work. Around the time of day I knew we’d eventually be dropping her off at daycare, I would take her with me to the gym or to run errands. It was super helpful to have that trial run to make sure I was giving myself enough time to get us both ready in the morning.
2. PREPARE THE NIGHT BEFORE
Whether you’re dropping your baby off at daycare or bringing a childcare provider into your home, you will have to prepare everything baby will need while you’re away. Don’t wait until morning to do it! Get everything together the night before, after baby goes to sleep, that way you don’t have to sacrifice any additional morning time with your baby.
3. EASE INTO CHILDCARE
I was extremely lucky to be able to leave baby girl with family members my first week back to work. If you do this, I highly recommend it! It’s hard enough to suddenly be separated from your baby all day. Knowing they are with someone you know and trust makes it so much easier.
4. KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR CHILDCARE PROVIDER
My baby girl starts daycare next week, and the idea of dropping her off with a complete[ly qualified childcare professional] stranger is absolutely terrifying. What’s making it easier for me is knowing what to expect. We’ve been to her daycare, met her teachers, talked to other parents, and reviewed their daily schedule. I’m sure it will still be difficult to drop her off on Monday, but I can at least find comfort in knowing what her day will look like and that she will be cared for by teachers who truly love the work they do each day.
If you’ve been down this road before, what are some of your tips for going back to work? How long did it take you to adjust? Leave me a comment and let me know!