What was your babies age when you returned to work? How did you make the transition easier?
Tips for Returning to Work after Baby
1. Part Time
If work and finances allow it, start back at less than full time. 20-30 hours a week verses 40-60 makes a big difference. Moms say 24 hours working was the best, 32 hours per week was still pretty great. Every employee and employer will be different. Ask to schedule an appointment to discuss how you can be most productive and helpful to the company upon return from maternity leave. Don’t make demands, rather approach the topic cautiosly and remain flexible. It helps if you can research problems that “may” arise ahead of time and think up posisble solutions. Use the time not working during the week for pediatrician visits and other necessary appointments. If you do cut hours, pay attention to how your health insurance and vacation is handled.
2. The First Week
Return to work on a Wednesday or Thursday. This will give you a short week, while letting you and your baby adjust to the new routines.
Find family or a child-care facility that you love. Knowing that your child is cared for in a safe and loving environment is vital to making the transition back to work go smoothly. If the facility uses video monitors – check in on your baby. If your provider does not have video monitoring, call, send e-mails, ask them at pick-up how your child’s day went.
If you are breastfeeding, see if your spouce or nanny can bring the baby to you to nurse once a day. Some parents choose day-care facilities based on their location and stop by to feed their child too. If these options are not available – purchase a double electric pump and supplies, Ask your workplace for a clean area for pumping. Many states require this. Suggest an empty office area with a plug in and a lock on the door.
5. Hire help.
If you are working full time with a brand-new baby, sleep deprived, and trying to do it all, it may be time to call in re-inforcements. Consider having a company come clean your house bi-weekly. Subscribe to a meal planning service or have your groceries delivered to your home. Pay the teenager to mow your lawn or snow-blow your driveway. Strapped for cash? Ask family or friends to pitch in. Trade for help in the future or babysitting.
Really make time for what you feel is important. If you feel the best when you have made the time for Yoga, then by all means, make the time for Yoga. If a pile of clean laundry on the sofa doesn’t bother you, leave it. Just call it the family closet from now on. Focus on what matters to you and let the other stuff slide for now.
7. Find the Positives.
Know that you are making the best choices for your family. It is hard to miss your little one. Write uplifting messages of support to yourself and put them places where you will see them throughout the day: your planner, in your desk, on your calender, on your computer screen.
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