Having a baby is clearly and without a doubt a life changing event. You are introducing someone new into your family and perhaps it is your first baby. Aside from all of the personal life changes a baby brings about, you also have to think about your career and what this may mean for you. Some women will have all intentions of returning to work after they have their baby, but once their baby is born they quickly realize how difficult it is to leave their newborn. You realize pretty quick that the balance of work and life is clearly more difficult now and your routine is all jumbled. Others may love the idea of going back to work and can feel slightly guilty because of it. Either way, you have realized that work is quickly approaching and you may or may not be prepared for its return. There are some measures you can take and some things you can do to ease the transition a little bit.
Before you return to work, get yourself mentally and physically prepared. It’s likely that your schedule as of late is drastically different than your work schedule. To better ease the transition, consider practicing your work routine before you have to return. It can be very difficult, of course, but if returning to work is inevitable it’s a good idea to try and get back into the swing of things before you actually have to. For one, try waking up at the time you would have to for work. Mock getting everything set up for your day and how your mornings will go with your newborn. You can even set up your child care a week earlier so you can get into the swing of things. It can be really difficult having to leave your baby, but it can make going back to work even more difficult if you hold off until your first day at work to separate for the first time.
It’s likely that you are already worn-out by taking care of your newborn. It can be very difficult to try and imagine adding work to the mix again. That is why it is so important for you to get as much rest as you can. An article in Parents cites that exhaustion is the biggest complaint that working moms have. When you start to juggle work and your child, things can get very hectic and your own personal sleep may start to take a backseat to other tasks. If you are married, it’s so important to ask your spouse for help. It should be a collaborative effort and if everything falls on you, you’ll probably be crushed by the weight of work and your baby. If you set an early bedtime for yourself and are able to stick to it, then it will be easier to deal with waking up in the middle of the night or in the wee hours of the morning to deal with your crying infant.
Another obvious move to make before you return to work after a pregnancy is to find reliable child care. Talk to your friends that have children and your family members as well. Do they know of a reputable place? Where did they send their children? You need to give yourself enough time here to really evaluate the child care. The best way is to go off of recommendations, so make it a point to talk about it. Leaving your baby during the day is difficult enough without having to worry if they are going to be taken care of adequately. Another great tip is to talk to your employer before returning to work. Make sure you understand what is expected of you. Ask what has changed in the office, if anything, since you have been out and make note of any changes that may affect you. If you have kept in touch with coworkers, this won’t be very difficult, but if not you definitely want to know what’s been going on in the office while you were away.
Returning to work after any long-time away is difficult. When you add the fact that you just had a baby to the mix, things get even more tricky. It may seem unrealistic now, but so many mothers return to work after being pregnant. After all, many don’t really have the choice. It will be a difficult transition at first, but it’s definitely doable. Make sure you get enough rest and understand and address how you are feeling.