I started back to work yesterday after almost 13 weeks of maternity leave and it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Here are my top 5 tips for making a smooth transition:
1. Don't go back on a Monday.
I started back on a Thursday. I know it's tempting to ride it out through that last weekend, but I can't tell you how glad I am that it's my second day back at work and I have the weekend to look forward to.
2. Do a trial run with your child care.
Don't make your first day back the first day your little one goes to day care. Drop the baby off for a couple of half or full days while you're still on maternity leave so they can get used to it and you can have some alone time to run errands/get a haircut/whatever before you return to the daily grind. Thankfully my mom is keeping Hadley, so I didn't really have to worry about this one because she's clocked many hours at their house already.
3. Get everything -- and I mean everything -- ready the night before.
New babies are unpredictable and schedules typically mean jack to them. Case in point, I was awoken for the day by a fussy baby at 4:30 am this morning . . . a full hour before my alarm went off. Thankfully I'd already picked out my clothes, ironed them and put them out with all of my accessories. I also packed my lunch, workout clothes and gathered all of Hadley's necessities including her clothes for the day. Finally, I mixed a bottle of formula and put it in the fridge so I could just grab it and throw it in the bottle warmer while I poured my coffee -- which was conveniently set on a timer to be ready by the time I got up. Getting everything ready the night before is a pain when you're tired after a long day, but those precious minutes I saved by planning ahead made it super easy to get to work on time when I had a curve ball thrown my way this morning.
4. Plan some time to play.
I know that you already have enough to do in the mornings now that you have an extra person to get ready, but build some time -- even if it's just 10 or 15 minutes -- into your schedule so you can sit down and play before you spend the entire day apart. After I feed Hadley her bottle, we snuggle in bed while I drink my coffee and watch Ellen. It's one of my favorite parts of the day.
5. Bring pictures with you.
This is probably a given, but I spent a little too much time yesterday looking at pictures of my girl when I started to miss her. It helped me realize that I'm working for a good reason (to help keep a roof over her head) and reminded me that I would be back with her soon. Plus, your coworkers are all going to ask to see pictures anyway.
It's going to be tough . . . I'm not going to lie. But if you do a little planning, it makes the whole transition less of a shock.
Do you have any tips or tricks that helped you?
The (pine)apple of my eye!
10 hours ago