Is your maternity leave almost over and now you’re starting to worry about leaving your baby to return to work again?
I get it and definitely feel your pain. Returning to work after just having your new babe, is one of the hardest things to do! You feel the pressure of the uncertainty of having to leave the baby with someone else and often wonder what it’ll be like to spend several hours away from your little one. Sometimes we deal with the anxiety of going back to work because we’re unsure of all that has happened while we’ve been gone. It’s tough, but you WILL get through it!
1. Figure Out The Logistics
Prepare in advance by planning out your first day back, and then continue preparing each night through your first week. Think about the time you’ll have to leave home in the morning and plan out what time you will need to get up to get yourself and baby (and the other children, if any) out of the door without making yourself late. If you’re a breastfeeding mama, plan out what times during the day you may have to pump milk so that when you’re at work you’re able to make sure that meetings are planned around those pump times. I know that I personally practically panic when it’s time to pump and I don’t feel organized by being ready, so I always wrap my mind around the pump times at the start of the day and try my best to follow through.
Sometimes it’s helpful to speak with your manager beforehand so that you can get caught up on what’s happened while you’re away to ease your mind regarding what to expect upon your return. Wrap your mind around the fact that there may be quite a bit of emails to sift through, so don’t let that overwhelm you.
2. Look At Childcare Options In Advance
Make sure to set time aside and look at childcare options in advance. Do a few walk-throughs if you can. Lots of daycare centers have waiting lists, and if you if see one that you like, you want to make sure that you’ll actually be able to get your child in so visit early! Having a child care provider that you love will make the drop off much easier for you and ease your mind a bit while you’re away.
3. Prepare Everything The Night Before
Whatever you do, don’t save everything until the morning! Make sure the diaper bag is packed, lunches are packed, clothes are laid out, gas is in the car, etc. I had to throw in that gas part for my own sake, haha. I feel like I always drive my car until there is barely any gas thinking I’ll have time in the morning. You can pretty much guess what happens next…then I’m running behind the next morning and getting gas is such an inconvenience…SO, don’t be me! Ha. Make sure you take care of these things in advance. It’ll make things much easier! I’m always so thankful when I’ve gotten gas at night and have everything else ready to go in the a.m.!
4. Chat With Other Working Moms!
Sometimes it’s helpful to realize that you’re not the only one! Many of your friends have been there before, so if you feel like you’re feeling all the things and all the emotions of returning to work, reach out to that friend, family member or co-worker and allow them to be there for you.
5. Do A Practice Run
If you’re worried about being able to “do it all” in the morning or are having a hard time planning out the drive, do a practice run so that you’re able to better judge your time. You can also do a practice run with a family member watching your little one while you go out for the day and get your hair and nails done or maybe pick up a few new outfits for your first week back and see how it goes with you being away from baby for several hours. Testing things out, wouldn’t hurt a bit but might put your mind at ease!
I Say All Of This To Say…
You will get through this! Advance planning is the key!
Once you’ve worked out the logistics, found childcare that you love, prepared everything the night before, chatted with a few girlfriends who support you and your baby, and have gotten the practice run under your belt, you’ll soon realize that while you may shed a tear, you’ve got this girl!