Returning to your normal 9-5 routine can cause a whirlwind of inner emotions and cause upheaval for both you and your precious tyke. You know it is time for you to resume your career, but your mommy instincts kick in and won’t allow your child to leave your arms.
These feelings are normal and are nothing to fret over. To make the transition a little more manageable, there are some simple strategies to make the coping a little easier. Here are some tips for going back to work after having a baby:
1. Plan Ahead
The first few weeks are always the most hectic since you will be finding the balance between juggling motherhood and your job responsibilities. It is also the period when you need to organize and communicate with everyone in your inner circle. This means collaborating with your spouse, caretakers, and older children over the whole “who’s going to take care of what” in the household. Keep an organized schedule so everyone knows what their duties are at any given moment. This will include chores, such as prepping dinner, laundry, changing the baby’s diaper, and so forth.
Give the new schedule a try about a week before going back to work. This way, you will have some leeway for adjustments if need be.
2. Get Your Child Accustomed To Feeding From A Bottle
For mothers who choose to continue nursing, they should start pumping, freezing, and stocking up on milk several weeks in advance. They should also get their baby accustomed to drinking from a bottle, which most experts recommend starting by the time the child is four weeks old. Use a low-flow nipple, which are designed to mimic the function and feel of a female nipple.
3. Make Gradual Transitions
Separation anxiety is inevitable, and moms may be tempted to spend every waking minute with their child in the final days before going back to work. However, experts recommend leaving the child with the caretaker for short periods a week or two before your first day back on the job. Most mothers who used a cold-turkey approach with a previous child then tried this method with their most recent baby attested there was a tremendous difference. With the former, the feelings came rushing in and hit them like a ton of bricks, leaving them in tears and emotional disarray.
4. Use Technology To Stay Connected
Sure, you can keep a photo frame of your little one on your desk. However, it would be more uplifting if you can see him or her in real time or even from a photo taken just minutes ago. Have the caretaker take a quick snapshot and send it to your phone or use Skype or Google Hangout during your lunch break to interact with your child. Even if your child does not recognize you through a computer screen, that’s okay, because it is much more of a therapeutic session for you.
5. Have A Backup Plan
No matter how prepared you are, sooner or later, something unexpected is going to arise. The babysitter may call in sick, your baby may come up with a fever or your boss may need you to work over time. Have a plan B in place. This means having the number of a backup babysitter or your local pediatrician on speed dial so that they can be contacted in a minute’s notice should anything derail your routine.
You often hear stories about women lifting cars to save their trapped child. This is because the bond between mother and offspring is one of the most powerful connections in the universe. It can be crushing when that connection is interrupted by physical distance. This is why organizing and preparing for the ensuing storm that you know is about to hit you will lessen the extent of the impact.
This post was originally published at an earlier date.
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