Maternity leave is almost over. With Mom and Dad working full time, how are you going to cope?
Eric is a male nurse and works long hours. His wife Anna gave birth and is now planning to return back to work. Eric is on a tight work schedule and barely has enough time to eat, sleep, wash his male scrubs, and find some time to bond with his family. Anna is anxious of how to take care of her child with her husband away for so many hours of the day.
After weeks of bonding time with just Mother and baby, it can be tough for many women to jump back into work after maternity leave. If you are heading back to work soon, you may feel overwhelmed, anxious and even scared about the days ahead.
Here are some important tips to make the transition back to work after a baby a smoother one.
Plan ahead with your spouse
Talk to your partner and try to work out a daily routine that works out for both of you. Talk about all of your responsibilities and make a plan of who will take care of what. Discuss if you should get some house cleaning help or buy takeout food more often, at least until things have settled down somewhat. Try to coordinate your schedules to be available for each other as much as possible.
Finding a day care
There are many daycares out there that are available to take care of your little cute one. However, be sure to do your research to ensure that the daycare you choose is a safe place for your child. Beware that many of them are dysfunctional. Pop in for a spontaneous tour at the daycare you are considering to see if it looks like a place you want your child to spend their day there. A happy child makes happy parents.
In addition to safety concerns, try to find a daycare that is convenient for you. Consider daycares that are along your route to work and have flexible hours. Taking the extra time to find the ideal option will make your schedule so much easier.
Stock up your freezer
This is one of the best tips. On your last few days before returning to work pack up your freezer. Making chicken cutlets for supper? Make a quadrupled batch! Bread them without frying. Store them in your freezer in Ziploc bags in the quantity you need for each supper. Make a variety of large pots of soups. Bake cookies and muffins and double bag them so they won’t get freezer burnt. You will bless yourself for doing this when you come home from a long day of work and all you need to do is pull something out of the freezer, put up a pot of rice up and voila! You have a fresh homemade supper in no time!
Starting a week or two before you return to work, pump once or twice a day during your normal working hours and feed the bottle to your baby in place of nursing. This will help your body adapt to pumping and will also ease your baby’s transition to a bottle.
Ask your boss for extra consideration
Explain to your boss your life circumstances and ask to be allowed to start work on a Wednesday or Thursday so that you do not have to jump into a full week of work at once. Discuss with him what you can do if your child gets sick and you need to take off. Ask him how flexible he can be if you come a few minutes late, now that you need to leave the house with a baby in tow (who might just spit up all over you just as you step out the door). Assure him that you are still going to be dedicated to your job but are trying to find the right balance.
In closing, we recommend that you savor your last few days with your precious bundle. Go out together and try to accept and get used to your new life circumstances. Most importantly, don’t forget to smile and take it easy!