I know, it feels like just yesterday you were pushing your little bundle of joy through the birth canal, and holding him/her to your chest for the first time. And now, you’re expected to return to work? It seems almost inhumane that such things are expected of you, but you have a future to provide for now. Below are some tips from real moms about making the transition back to work a little bit easier.
1. Try to return to work towards the end of the week. Going back on a Monday can make the week seem so long, and leave you frazzled to begin a new routine on a dreaded Monday.
2. Begin your new routine a few days early. Practice makes perfect, and this will give you time to make adjustments, and slowly start to manage your time better.
3. If it is an option for you, cut back on your hours. I can’t explain the overwhelming feelings of guilt many new moms describe having when they return, and being away for a full forty hours can just be too much sometimes.
4. Have childcare planned out as far in advance as possible. And, have a backup plan. If you are lucky enough to have a family member who can watch your baby, what will you do if that family member is sick?
5. Know and trust your childcare. Don’t just sign up, and show up the first day. Get to know the providers, and make sure it is a good fit for you and your baby. It will only make it more difficult to say goodbye if you get a weird vibe on the first day.
6. Be organized. It’s time to start thinking about meal preparation, getting up earlier, and having bags packed ahead of time. It might sound like a drag, but it will make things a lot easier for you.
7. If you are pumping, make sure you have everything you need packed ahead of time. That includes: pump, pumping bra, pump parts, tubing, pump wipes, bottles, coconut oil or nipple cream, nursing cover (if you so choose, or is the law where you are), car adapter, and have a storage location for pumped milk set up ahead of time. Exclusively pumping? Visit this blog for more tips and tricks!
9. Pack your little one’s bag the night before. Likely, you will be very stressed the morning of, and will not want to think of necessities. Many new moms tend to over-pack, but hey, that’s natural 🙂
10. Know ahead of time that you are probably going to cry. As much as you mentally prepare, all those postpartum hormones are going to kick in, and you will probably be a mess. Don’t worry too much though, the first week is the hardest but it does get easier!
11. Schedule a date night before you return to work. It’s only going to get harder to squeeze in some couple time. There are so many people who want to watch your baby, don’t be afraid to take people you trust up on their offers! Whether that’s mom, a neighbor, your best friend, or your friendly Baby Planner, make time for the two of you.
12. Realize it’s time to let the little things go. The dishes will get done, the bed doesn’t always have to be made, and your little one is only this age once. Make time for skin-to-skin contact, play time, nursing, reading, tummy time, and all those good things. Some days will be harder than others, but remember that you are woman, you are strong. Remember how blessed you are to be this little miracle’s mama, and put the time in to be the best you can be <3