Let’s face it; going back to work after having a baby is tough. You’re learning how to become a new parent while still trying to balance everything you did pre-baby. This takes a lot of rest, strength, and not to mention great 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 the tips, 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. We will have THREE lucky winners and each will receive a $50 Target gift card.
Below 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. Have Your Childcare Situated
You need to know who is going to be taking care of your baby and what that plan is going to look like. This will help you establish your new routine. Who is going to 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 types of questions you want to have answers for before you go back to work. Learn what transition plan your new daycare or nanny has in place. You can’t expect to wing it because you’ll cause yourself more stress and anxiety.
2. Do a Dry Run
You don’t want to try out your new routine the first day you’re going to need it. 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 be a good indicator of whether you’ve planned appropriately or need to tweak your plans.
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.
3. Schedule Your First Day for Midweek (if possible)
If possible, go back to work mid-week. This will let you ease into your new routine and see what works and what doesn’t. Plus, it should make it less likely for you to burn out that first week.
4. Ask for Flexibility
If your employer is willing to be flexible and that works for you, take advantage of it. 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. Many women would prefer to work from home some of the time or work fewer days during the week.
5. Ask for Help
You don’t have to do everything by yourself. 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. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed or that you’re a bad parent. 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. Set Boundaries
When you go back to work you need 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 needs.
7. Prep for Pumping
If you are breastfeeding, you’ll want to prepare yourself and your baby for pumping. Your baby may have to get used to having your breast milk from a bottle. This can take time so be sure to give your baby enough time to adjust by trying it out while you’re still home. This will make it easier for your childcare provider when you’re not around. 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.
8. Make Time for Yourself
You need time for yourself. It may not be easy, but it’s vital. This may mean taking a short walk, taking 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. Either scenario isn’t one you want to find yourself in.
9. Plan Ahead
If you can get some things done the night before, it will make your mornings go much smoother. Trying to get everything ready in the morning can be a struggle, especially since babies are so unpredictable. They may throw a tantrum at any moment which can throw off the flow of your day in a second. Planning ahead can make these incidents not as traumatic to your morning routine.
10. Rest As Much As You Can
A cranky, tired mom is not going to be 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.
Give yourself time to adjust to everything. You’re not expected to jump right in. Remember to cut yourself some slack!
Do you have any other tips for going back to work after having a baby? Please share them with us in the comments below!