As an expectant mom, the idea of leaving my brand new, sweet little girl in the care of someone else, anyone else, scares me. Will I feel like I had enough one-on-one time with her after 3 short months? Will I be able to sleep enough to wake up for a job? Do I like my career enough to miss out on time with her? Can we financially afford to have one of us stay home if I end up hating this “working mom” thing? And the list goes on.
Whether it be for financial reasons, wanting to get back into a routine, a drive to continue a career after children, or your kids just started school full time and you feel like now is the best time to go back… it can be a hard, tearful transition.
Here are some tips for the first month of transition:
Practice makes perfect:
A week before the new schedule have a practice week. This means going through each routine as you would the morning the first week back to work.
A few tips for helping with this scheduling is a nightly routine that will help alleviate some morning stressors:
- Everyone showers at night
- Pack easy lunches (like these) the night before
- Put backpacks/diaper bag/ purse in the car the night before
Pre-prepare each bag to make sure the essentials are in there, including extra diapers, crayons, nursing pads, etc.
- Clean up dinner so you won’t feel the urge to clean in morning
- Set out all the outfits, so you already know what you, and everyone else is wearing
- Ask your spouse for help! Perhaps the routine can be split 50-50
One tip that is pretty common is having the spouse drop off, and you pick up. This means you don’t have to see the tears, only the afternoon smiles!
Go in late the first week:
This will better allow you to get used to the transitionary period of waking up, and figuring out what morning kinks need to be worked through before the big day!
Showing up a little late has some added benefits, and may also give you a couple moments to yourself to grab your favorite cup of coffee, listen to your favorite song, and cry for two minutes until you wipe your face clean and pretend to be grown up.
Another alternative is to do a half week. This will make your first week back to work feel less daunting, and with a weekend in sight- you just might avoid some of the tears!
Set aside a little time:
If you are returning to work make sure to set aside a little time to pamper yourself so you feel like a grown woman entering back into the workforce. This can include a mani pedi, a “first day” outfit, a new purse, or even taking a few extra moments to exfoliate and shave in the shower! If you are planning on nursing when you go back to work, I would suggest buying a supportive (maybe even pretty) nursing bra, so you feel like an adult, rather than a milk machine at work!
Remember that it is very normal to feel anxious, sad, frustrated, happy, and most of all guilty when you are headed out the door. Just remember that there are tons of really awesome working moms, and what is most important is that you are doing what is right for you, and your family.