As it turns out, I was utterly and completely naive and perhaps a bit in denial about what it would be like to leave little Dan V and go back work.
So first, let me state the obvious… leaving your baby SUCKS. I was shocked by how down I felt. I truly thought I’d be ready to jump right back to work after 7 weeks – surprise! I wasn’t. I literally cried every day the week before I went back to work. In uncharted territory and completely overwhelmed I finally reached out to a friend and fellow working mom for moral support. Her advice was to take as much pressure off morning prep as possible, especially while trying to figure out the new routine. Here are a few pieces of her wisdom…
Tag someone else in…
If you can, have someone else drop the little one off at daycare for two reasons:
- It will allow you to avoid an extra step on your morning commute so that you don’t feel like you’re rushing out the door
- You can avoid the inevitable emotional breakdown that will take place when you hand over your little one officially for the first time
Dress for success…
You’ll be heading back into a professional environment with adult humans; you’ll want to look the part. Start with maternity gear and work your way back – especially pants! Trust me, for your own sanity, start with the demi-panel maternity pants you purchased while you were pregnant. The last thing you need is to lose it over not fitting in your pre-pregnancy work outfits as you’re preparing to leave your newborn to go back to work for the first time. Not awesome.
Take the guess work out of “what to wear” in the morning by trying on and prepping your outfits for the week. This way you can get into the groove of a new routine without stressing about what you’re going to put on much less fit into. Remember, if you’re pumping you’ll need easy access so pants or skirts and tops are your best bet.
Get ahead by any means necessary…
Anything you can get ahead in the morning is a positive exercise. Try things like…
- Shower the night before and dry your hair
- Grab a shower cap if you still like to jump in the shower to perk yourself up in the morning
- Prep baby’s bag and food for daycare the night before
- Buy yourself a great robe so you can get dressed last thing before you walk out the door
- You will be covered in some type of bodily fluid that is not your own (usually not your own anyway), it’s inescapable so plan for it
For your first week back be sure to schedule some lunch dates with co-workers to reconnect. You’ll be able to catch-up on what you’ve missed and actually eat a full meal in peace. Plus you’ll have an excuse to share the hundreds of photos you’ve taken of your little one.
I can’t promise that it will be easy but I can promise that you will get through it. You’re stronger than you think!