I love what I do. I work at a local ad agency and get to work with some amazingly talented people, all while having a blast. It’s always changing and challenges me in different ways. That being said, as of January 12th this past year, I got a “promotion” to the best gig in the world – being a mommy.
I was fortunate to take nine weeks at home to bond with, care for and love her with all my attention focused solely on her. As my nine weeks neared its end, I came to grips with the new reality that the money tree I planted in the backyard wasn’t blooming and I needed to return to work. There were a few steps I took to help me get acclimated to coming back to work full time.
• Visit work to introduce your little one. I stopped by the office to introduce my new daughter around six weeks into my maternity leave. This was a great way to catch up with colleagues that had not visited us at home, as well as show off my new bundle of joy. It helped me get excited about coming back to work and being around other adults and grown-up conversations.
• Ease your way back into the office. I opted to have my first day back be a Friday. This gave me the chance to catch up on emails, say my hellos and get organized and ready for a full work week ahead. I found this to be extremely helpful.
•Start daycare a week before going back. Many daycares offer a three-day plan. As I stated earlier, I started work on a Friday. I took my daughter to daycare on that Monday and Wednesday before going into work on Friday. This was the best thing I could have done. On Monday, the first day of daycare, I sobbed. I couldn’t even say goodbye to my baby girl. On Wednesday, I didn’t cry until I got home from dropping her off. By Friday, I had gotten it out of my system. I still didn’t put on my makeup until I got to work…just in case I had a meltdown on the way to work.
• Be proactive about a flex schedule. It’s always smart to talk about a flex schedule before coming back. In today’s world, many jobs can be done at home. Maybe you work three days in the office and two days at home, or work longer days Monday – Thursday in order to have Friday off. Whatever your ideal situation is, talk with management earlier than later and be sure to discuss how your performance will not be affected.
• Talk with other moms. I’ve been very fortunate to work with other new moms that I know are going through the same thing. It’s nice to have ladies to help chat through bad days, as well as poop consistency among other baby-related topics.
I’ve been back at work for three months now and I still find it challenging to be a working mom. I still have my occasional bad days where I question if it’s worth it, but I know in my heart of hearts, that I love what I do and I want my daughter to see me loving my work, too.
What are some of your tips for going back to work after having a baby?
I tell all moms going back that it does get easier. The first weeks/months back are so hard. But it does become routine, it does get easier, you will see your little one do amazing things at school and you will find your groove. Just give it some time.
It is amazing to see the developmental skills learned from daycare. To see her interact with other kids is rewarding, too.
Jen – hang in there! I know you will find the balance you’re looking for. Grass is always greener no matter what side you’re on. I was a SAHM for 5 years, I loved every second of it but started to get the itch – to challenge my mind and soul. That’s how CSP was born.
I’m finding now that many of my friends have their youngest entering kindergarten, the SAHM’s are getting the itch too. Maybe they don’t want to climb that corporate ladder ever again, maybe they want to do something a little less than what they did before staying home. But most are looking for something. So you hang in there – I know where you work and it’s an amazing place:-)