Going back to work after having a baby isn’t easy. You have to learn how to take care of the new life you’ve created while still balancing work and everything else in your life. This takes rest, strength, and some heavy-duty organizational skills!
At Rock and Roll Daycare, we totally get this and that is why we are developing an educational support program to bring awareness to the need to have adequate rest, resources, and planning for having a newborn and making that transition back to work.
Before we share some tips to help you along the way, we would love to hear from you! As we are developing this valuable program to help support and offer new parents resources within our community, we would love to learn more, if we may, about YOUR Postpartum Journey. Please take two minutes to fill out this quick survey, that will help us tailor our educational program better.
Thank you so much, we appreciate your help and time! We will be doing a giveaway amongst everyone who filled out the survey. THREE lucky winners will receive a $50 Target gift card.
Today we have compiled this list of 10 tips for going back to work after having a baby. This is just the beginning of our offerings for postpartum parents, and we truly hope that this helps you make that important transition smoother!
1. Schedule Your First Day for Midweek (if possible)
You’re going to want to ease into your new routine if possible. This means going back to work mid-week if you can. This will let you get your feet wet and start to see what works and what doesn’t. Plus, it should make it less likely for you to burn out that first week.
2. Have Your Childcare Situated
You can’t be fully comfortable leaving to go back to work if you don’t have your daycare situation settled. Decide who is going to be caring for your baby as well as if you’ll be responsible for drop-offs and pickups. What types of gear and supplies are you going to need to provide? Do you have a child care backup plan? These are the things you need to know before you go back to work. You can’t expect to wing it because you’ll cause yourself more stress and anxiety. Learn what transition plan your new daycare or nanny has in place.
3. Do a Dry Run
Your first day back shouldn’t be the first time you try out your new routine. You should set aside some time well before your first day back to get up when you need to, give yourself enough time to get ready, get your baby ready, and get out the door. Your test run should also include getting in the car, getting to your childcare center, and getting to work. This will give you a better idea if you’ve planned appropriately and if you need to tweak your plan before your real first day. Also, the daycare center, just like Rock and Roll Daycare, may have a transition plan in place that will need you to be present, and pick up the child after a few hours, to make adjustment smoother.
4. Ask for Flexibility
These days, more and more employers are offering flexible working schedules that allow for a 4-day work week or for people to work from home. If this is an option, ask for it to be included in your back-to-work plan if you think this will help you. Many women would prefer to work from home some of the time or work fewer days during the week.
5. Ask for Help
News flash…you don’t have to do everything by yourself! Be smart and ask for help when you need it. Whether this means picking up your child at daycare or coming over to give you a little break, it’s okay to ask for help. This doesn’t make you a failure or a bad parent. It’s quite the opposite. It means that you realize you can’t do it alone and are taking the steps needed to make sure you and your child are being taken care of properly.
6. Prep for Pumping
If you are breastfeeding, you’ll want to prepare yourself and your baby for pumping. If your baby isn’t used to taking a bottle, you’ll want to get them on board. This will make it easier for your childcare provider to feed your baby. You’ll also want to alert your employer that you’ll need time during the day to pump. Employers need to provide a clean, private area for you to pump while at work.
7. Make Time for Yourself
While it may be hard, you need to make time for yourself. This may mean taking a short walk, a bubble bath, reading a book, or whatever relaxes you and makes you happy. If you don’t, you’re going to get stressed and burned out. This may lead to illness or just downright irritability. You don’t want to fall under either of these categories.
8. Set Boundaries
You may be tempted to call the daycare every ten minutes to check on your child. Resist the urge and learn how to set boundaries. When you’re at work, do your best to focus on work. When you’re home, use that time for your child and family. Setting boundaries between work and family time can make the transition easier and assure that every part of your life gets the attention it deserves.
9. Plan Ahead
As you prepare to go back to work after having a baby, learn to be a planner. Whether it’s packing the baby’s supplies or prepping your lunch, do as much as you can the night before. Trying to get everything ready in the morning can be a struggle, especially since babies are so unpredictable. A tantrum or mess can throw off your routine in a second. But, if you have as much ready as you can, you’ll be better off.
10. Rest As Much As You Can
Rest is a vital component of being a good parent. When you’re not well-rested, you can’t function properly which can lead to irritability as well as potentially dangerous situations. Without enough rest, you won’t be able to focus sufficiently, which can make driving and other tasks more difficult.
Remember to give yourself some slack. You’re not expected to jump right into this new life. Parenthood is a marathon, not a sprint!
Do you have any other tips for going back to work after having a baby? Please share them with us in the comments below!