There’s nothing more overwhelming than having to go back to work with a newborn who is only 3 months.
This little person has been attached to you literally for these last few weeks and now you have to leave them with someone else? And likely a total stranger at that. I remember that day vividly. My son was 4 months and I was breastfeeding. Breastfeeding adds a whole different dynamic to leaving your child. Feeding my son alone was the most stressful thing, trying to travel and pump and freeze milk, hoping I had enough. Now that was stressful!
And of course everybody has all kinds of advice for you, right? But their kids are in college by now and they can’t remember the last time they changed a diaper, let alone had to use a breast pump in an airport.
Eventually though, I finally realized, things are no longer the same and I needed to stop trying to make my life look like it did pre-baby.
So let me save you some stress.
Here are my 5 secrets to make the transition back to work way easier:
(1) Set an alarm to wake up at a certain time every morning.
So I know this sounds crazy because your little one isn’t on a sleep schedule yet, but eventually they will be and when they are, you don’t want to stay up all night and then not wake up until they do. You will always be behind if that’s the case. And if you thought it was hard to get out of bed before, trying getting out of bed with that cute bundle of joy snuggled in your arms. Not happening…
(2) Don’t pick up where you left off at work.
I hate to break it to you, but you will be distracted when you go back to work. You will spend your days thinking about your baby and wishing they were with you. So killing yourself to get back to exceeding expectations is an unrealistic goal. Focus on being fully present for your little one…Work will be there.
(3)You will figure it out eventually.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, you won’t have all the answers. You won’t know who’s going to watch your child when they’re sick and you have to work. Or who’s taking your child to school when you’re traveling for meetings. Trust me though, it will work out. Just put out one fire at a time.
(4) Don’t try to do it all.
Relax! You have my permission to sit down and stare at the wall if you want. When you have time to stare at the wall of course…But seriously, hire a housekeeper to help with keeping the house clean. Let friends and family cook for you. I used a meal service during that time to help make life easier. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, you’ll be surprised how many people were just waiting for you to ask.
(5) Stop trying to follow your old schedule before baby.
Throw your old schedule out the window! Your only schedule is your child’s schedule. But if you follow secret tip #1, you will be that much closer to an actual schedule for you too.
There you have it! Those 5 tips alone kept me sane!
The great thing about these tips is that they apply long after maternity leave.
What other ideas do you have to share? What’s your secret for managing work and baby? Let me know in the comments below.