Deciding to return to work can be tough on both you and your baby, but knowing what’s in store may help you deal with the bumps along the road. From separation anxiety for both of you to dealing when your kiddo would rather go to a caregiver over mommy, discover tips on how to deal with back to work challenges for you and your newborn.
It’s perfectly normal for you to miss your newborn like crazy, especially for a new mom returning to work after spending every minute of the last few weeks with her bundle of joy. “The best way for me to cope going back to work was to keep my head in the game,” explains Lisa Tilt of FullTiltConsulting.com. “When I was at work, I needed to focus on being at work and not wonder how the kids were doing. Likewise, I needed to consciously be in the moment when I was at home and not think about work. It made things clearer for me that way.”
When you return to work, you may fear that juggling breastfeeding at home and pumping your breast milk at work will be an impossible feat. But the key is to find a way to relax. “While pumping at work, I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to actually relax and stop thinking about my to-do list for those 15 minutes,” says Tracy Corcoran of LaunchHER.com. “So, I kept a picture of my son and one of his burp cloths in with my pump, it made a big difference!”
A common challenge many newborns face when you return to work is adjusting to a new schedule. However, slowing modifying your little one’s schedule before you transition him to childcare can allow him plenty of time to adjust.
Deciding to return to work may bring on a bout of mommy guilt about missing first milestones and spending less time with your bundle of joy. But take heart knowing that the moments you do have together will be extra sweet, especially because you’ll likely have more patience for newborn challenges when you’ve had a break from mommy duties.
Becoming your baby’s least favorite person
As you spend your days away from your baby, you may start to see your baby take to a caregiver more than you, but don’t let the green-eyed monster get the best of you. The important thing is to have confidence that you have a childcare provider you can trust, but visiting on your lunch break when possible may ease your new mom anxieties. “I put my baby in the care of someone exceptional so I would have peace of mind. And, I told myself that focusing on work and succeeding was important to my child’s ongoing quality of life,” shares Maureen, Girard of SaltwaterMoon.com.
The good news is that with time, these bumps in the road between being home with your newborn to returning to work gets easier for new moms and newborns alike. Things like breastfeeding challenges, mommy guilt and more often become a thing of the past. However, if you find that you still face anxieties after a reasonable amount of time, consider talking with your OB/GYN or midwife for support so you can focus on cherishing your time at home with your bundle of joy.