I am about to enter my second week back at work post baby Asher. I am happy to report that I did indeed survive the first week despite many months of anxiousness over whether or not I would be able to do it!
To help me cope with all that comes with being a working mom, I decided I would start an installment series to document the high's, low's and everything in between of my experience juggling it all. My experiences going through this journey may help another new mom out there who finds herself back in the corporate world post baby and needs support to help her cope :)
Here are my top tips to help you survive the first week back at work as a new mom....
1. Ditch the guilt
If you find yourself going back to work and your heart really would prefer to stay home like myself, you are going to feel guilt with the decision to work outside the home. Working outside the home does not make you a bad mom no more than choosing to stay home automatically makes someone a good mom. Being a mother is a challenging, full-time job regardless which end of the spectrum you find yourself. I had to remind myself multiple times throughout this first week back working that I am being a good mom by helping our family financially. The faster you can ditch the mommy guilt the better off you will cope with juggling your many responsibilities. I feel there are going to be many more posts in the future on the guilt subject because I struggle with mommy guilt more than anything else about being a working mom.
2. Get organized
As a working mom, you have 2 full-time jobs and that is not including your role as a wife if you are married. Having an organized schedule will help you stay sane. I use an Eric Condren calendar to help me keep up with the schedule. I also made a schedule to help our nanny and other caretakers while I am away. The more organized you are going into your first week back at work, the less stressed you will feel.
3. Recruit dad for the first week
This is huge. If you have support whether it be your spouse or someone else, recruit them to care for your little one the first week. My hubby took a week off of work during my first week back at work because he knew I was going to have a tough time. Having someone you trust stay with the baby the first week is going to relieve so much stress for you as you return back to your work routine knowing that your baby is in the hands of someone you trust wholeheartedly. I believe if I would have had to leave Asher at daycare or with a nanny during this first week back, I would have had a much tougher time. I cried twice leaving the house on the first day and I was leaving him with his father!
4. Focus on quality time and not the quantity of time
Now that you have less time with the little one, it is very important to focus on quality now that the quantity is not there. Make every second count during those moments you are not working. Read to them, do lots of skin to skin, get in lots of cuddle time, nurse when you are with the baby if you are breastfeeding, and just focus on them when you are home. Be present mentally during those moments. Your baby will remember the quality more than the quantity.
5. Establish a work pumping routine
If you are breastfeeding and plan to continue to after you return to work, make sure you stay on a pumping routine so that your supply does not drop. Try not to go more than 3 hours during the workday without pumping. Invest in a quality double electric breast pump (most insurance companies will provide one for free!) The book Work, Pump, Repeat is a great resource if you need tips on how to effectively pump while working.
6. Do what works for YOUR family
I have learned that everyone has an opinion when it comes to parenting so try not to let what may work for another mom and her family make you feel guilty for what may not work for your family right now. We have to do what is best for our families and for some moms that means going back to work. Trust your gut that the decision you made to return to work was what was best for your family. As a moms, we have to do what we have to do!
Working moms- what tips do you have to help new moms survive the first week back at work that I may have left out? Feel free to add your feedback to the comments!
Until next time....