Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Back to Work After Baby: the Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Are you going back to work? The golden question every new working mom is asked. I anticipated people asking this question, but I had no idea just how hard it would be to answer it. The follow up question was even worse: Who’s going to watch the baby?  Can we say guilt? I was constantly being reminded that I would be away from my baby. How was I going to do this? I decided to formulate a plan in my head and was determined to make it work. I am happy to say it’s been a smooth transition so far.

Here is a list of tips I thought were helpful with returning to work and being a mom:

1.)         Plan ahead: Contact the caretaker and find out how you can be prepared for the first week. Do they need a doctor’s note? Do they need a list of vaccinations? Emergency contacts? Can you drop off diapers and wipes ahead of time? All of this information should be provided ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about it on that very stressful first day.

2.)         Practice your new routine: It’s important to think about the drop off and pick up routine. Practice your new routine so you can anticipate any issues or challenges that may arise. It will be helpful to work these things out ahead of time. 

3.)         Rest as much as possible: Stick to a bedtime that will provide with you with as much rest as possible. Your body is not used to getting ready for work AND taking care of a baby. You are going to need your energy, so go to sleep!

4.)         Be a mommy: That first week is going to feel like you’ve been hit by a truck, so take a deep breath and try to enjoy being a mommy when you spend time with your baby. Also, keep in touch with new mom friends that you’ve made during your maternity leave. They will be a great support during this transitional time.

5.)          Hang in there: Stick with it! At least for a little while. There are going to be some really tough days with lots of challenges, but try to keep it together and get through it. Your goal should be to find a healthy balance between your career and your family. Don’t give up!

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