Having a baby is an incredibly transformational experience, and one that changes you forever. Those first few months of your baby’s life are incredibly special, as you bond, and learn to adjust to your new life together. And while part of you may be anxious to get back to real life, seeing your friends, and being productive, make no mistake about it— leaving your baby at home to go to work is going to be a challenge.
Besides worrying about them, it’s also challenging to find a balance between it all. The good news is with the right strategies, you can make going back to work not only manageable, but even positive — here’s how.
Plan in Advance
The sooner you start planning out all the details, the easier it will be once the time comes to go back to work. If you’re lucky enough, perhaps you can leave your baby with a family member like an older loved one who is retired. However, some of our older loved ones are in an assisted living facility, or not available to take on the responsibility of a young child, in which case you’ll have to explore the option of a nanny or daycare.
Whatever option you choose, make sure that it’s something you feel comfortable with, who you can trust your baby with. After all, you don’t want to leave your precious baby in the hands of just anyone. Carefully go through the process of planning your schedule, childcare, and how everything will play out. You’ll feel much greater peace of mind if you know how it will happen in advance.
If possible, it helps to go back to work gradually rather than all at once. If your employer is okay with it, start only a few hours a week, and slowly work your way back to full time. This won’t just be easier for you, but also for your baby. This is especially important if you’re breastfeeding and will need to pump at work. the more you get into a pumping schedule gradually, the easier it will be to transition.
Build a Support System
It’s important that you build a support system to help you with all of the logistics. Don’t be afraid to ask for help— because you’re going to need a lot of it! There will be days when your baby might be sick while you’re at work, and there may be days where you’re sick and the idea of going to work and coming home and taking care of a new baby may seem overwhelming. It can’t be stressed enough how important it is to surround yourself with people who will be there to help you along the way.