Returning to work can be an emotional roller coaster for moms. It will be a new normal that takes some getting used to.
Chanté Perryman, owner of Baby Dreams Maternity Concierge, has some tips for how women can prep for this major change and make life a tiny bit easier on themselves and baby.
Q: How can a mother prepare emotionally for her return to work?
– Find reliable care for baby and someone you trust. Ask the sitter to call or text you at least once a day with an update of how baby is doing.
– Keep in touch with other mom friends and have routine dates. Being able to have that time away helps you to feel like an adult and they can be an awesome support for you as well.
-Focus on the positives of working even if the positive is additional income for the family or just interacting with other adults.
-Relax when you can. After baby is put to bed for the night, take a nice warm bath, read a book or listen to some good music.
-Make the most of bonding time with your baby when you are away from work.
Q: How can a mother prepare practically?
-Practice new routine at least a week in advance. Check with care provider to see if they are available for you to come by early and see how baby will do when you leave.
-Prepare the night before. Nothing like trying to get out of the door by a certain time but unsure if you have everything packed. Have clothes together, your bags and baby’s bag packed.
-Cut back on extra commitments if you think it is going to cause you more stress or take you away from much needed family time.
-Again, rest as much as you can.
Q: What is some advice for negotiating more time off (if possible) with an employer?
-Meet with your boss outside of the office if you can and talk to them about your plans for returning to work.
-Have a plan together before you approach your employer.
-Return to work in the middle or later part of the work week. Possibly return with only working half days instead of full days to allow you and your baby to adjust slowly to your being away from them.
-If working full time seems a bit much for you, ask your employer if you have a flex schedule, possibly working some days from home or switch to a part-time status.
Q: What kind of support can a mother find if she has difficulty with the return to work?
-Read books or blogs on how to adjust being a mom and working full time. A recommended read is “Happy at Work, Happy at Home: The Girl’s Guide to Being a Working Mom” by Caitlin Friedman.
-Having support from your partner, loved ones, and friends is always helpful. If you are breastfeeding and have concerns, speak with a lactation consultant.
-Speak up and ask for help if you ever feel overwhelmed, guilty or like you are lacking in different areas.
–Bluegrass Working Moms is an awesome group and additional resource for moms returning to work. The ladies in this group offer encouragement and support!
Chanté Perryman is owner of Baby Dreams Maternity Concierge. www.babydreamsmc.com