Welcome back to another great installment of The Friday Five! Each week, a group of five fabulous moms comes together to offer you great advice about an important parenting topic. We will choose a different topic to feature each week so be sure to Subscribe to our newsletter so you will never miss a post.
This week’s feature is Returning to Work After Baby. Whether it be a few weeks or a few months after your baby is born, every mom has an important decision to make if they will return to work or not. For some moms, it is a simple decision because they know they want to work or they do not have the option not to work. However, most moms agonize over the decision. Whether you ultimately choose to go back to work or choose to stay home, you have to be prepared to find peace with your decision. Allow yourself to understand that it is the best decision you can make at that moment in time. Whatever you have decided, it is important to remember that many moms before you have successfully raised children as a stay at home mom, work at home mom, or a mom working outside the home. They have done it and you can too!
Once the decision has been made, it is important to prepare yourself as much as possible to make the transition a smooth one, both for you and your new baby. No matter what, it will not be easy and you are guaranteed to miss your precious little one. However, there are many things that you can do to make the experience much easier to navigate. Read on to get a lot of great insights and ideas from moms that have been there, done that and successfully returned to work after having babies.
Julie S. | Fab Working Mom Life
Going back to work after maternity leave was definitely an anxiety-filled event. I think the most important thing to do is to change our expectations. We have changed, our entire lives have been flipped over and upside down and we are doing our best to adjust and recover. You shouldn’t expect to be the same employee that you were prior to having a child, and your boss shouldn’t expect that, either. You will take some time to get back into the groove of working and find a new groove between sleepless nights and child care. Moms wear a lot of hats and our brains are constantly being pulled in various directions. If you’re breastfeeding, put time blocks on your calendar for pumping time. If you can have a camera on your baby (we had in-home care and installed a nanny cam), check in and look at your little one often. That will help relax you and let you get back to what you are working on, knowing your child is just fine. Most of all, remember to be patient with yourself as you transition into an old role with a new outlook on life.
Sarah | The Designer Mama
I have been extremely fortunate to be able to bring my little girls to work with me. With my first, I was able to bring her to work with me for the first year. At that point, we decided that it was time for her to be around more kids, so we put her in daycare. It was definitely the right choice for her. Now, with our second, I was again fortunate enough to be able to bring her to work with me again. But now, our circumstances are changing slightly and I will no longer be able to bring her to work with me. She will be with a family friend while I am at work. This change is challenging for both of us, especially since she does not take a bottle. She is 11 months old, so she eats table food and drinks water while away from me, but the separation anxiety is starting to set in and she is so much more aware of when I am leaving.
My advice to any moms that are going back to work after having a baby this – make sure that when you are home, be fully present. Since you will be losing time with your children while you are at work, make the time that you are together really count. Don’t be on your phone, the computer or anything that divides your attention from your children. Give them your full attention and be fully present. All of the other stuff can wait until after bedtime.
Vanessa Pak | The Four Pak
A piece of advice for a mom going back to work after having a baby would be to try to find enjoyment in the little daily activities that you might have overlooked pre-baby. I was home with my twins for 3.5 months before I was due back to work as a Technical Writer for a software company. My husband’s work is super flexible so he was set to watch the babies a few days a week and my mother-in-law would watch them the rest of the time. Even though they’d be with family, I did not want to leave them or miss anything they might do while I was gone. Once I went back to work though, I found that I actually kind of looked forward to going (most days). It got me out of the house, I got to wear real clothes, converse with adults, and sit down to eat my lunch. Oh, the things you look forward to when you become a mom!
Dani | Live Love Learn Gracefully
Going back to work may be one of the hardest things you will ever do emotionally! It will also take a toll on you mentally and physically. Here are some ways that you can make the transition a little easier. First, post pictures of your baby all over your office, that way when you are severely missing him/her you can see them. Also, find a schedule that works best for you and your baby and try to start implementing that a few weeks before you go back. It will save you and your baby from culture shock if you start working towards that schedule slowly. You may also want to find ways to sneak in some household chores throughout the week before you go to bed or before you leave for work, that way when you do get a day off you can spend as much of that time as you can with your little one. Going back to work and leaving your little ones are never easy, with these tips hopefully your transition with be as smooth as possible.
Sade Lee | Diary of a Disney Mom
If you are currently on maternity leave, then the words “returning to work” sit tight in your throat and you are battling to swallow your reality which is either – baby stays home with someone wonderful to watch them or they will be attending crèche (daycare).
My top 3 tips for returning to work are:
- Try and banish the guilt from the start. The guilt will torture you alive. It’s okay to be a little distracted at work and it’s okay to leave work-related issues at work when you leave in the afternoon. Your universe has shifted and so will you thought process on how you tackle your job
- If you can, go and visit baby during your lunch breaks (might not be ideal in a crèche environment) but it will give you peace of mind and the little cuddle will give you a boost to complete the day
- Trust your gut, no matter what it tells you.
Remember to give yourself a break. You are doing the best you can for your child and that’s the most important.
I hope you have enjoyed this post and have found some great inspiration from some amazing moms! Be sure to stay connected to all of the great ideas from The Crafty Organized Mom by signing up for updates. When you do, you’ll also grab a free copy of our Family Meeting Guide + Meeting Printable!