Saturday, August 11, 2012

Mama's Survival Guide: Returning to Work


 This past week I joined the workforce after having an amazing extended maternity leave for 6 months.
I truly enjoyed every minute being home with my precious son, and returning to work seemed impossible.
The days leading up to returning were filled with lots of tears.
I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to still teach, but on a part-time basis. I teach for 3.75 hours a day in the afternoon. Such a blessing.
But, my Mama Guilt set in. Was I going to miss his milestones? Was he going to cry when he realized his Mama was gone for awhile? Will I be too busy with work?
Many tears were shed thinking of these "what if"s.
Now, that I've had a few days under my belt, I wanted to share some tips that have worked for me. 
Every Mama, baby, child and circumstance is different.
But, I will say...our first week back went so well. Neither I or Levi cried! It felt about as "natural"as it could. So, here's whats worked for us.

1. Find a sitter you trust.
This is absolutely vital. This person (or people) will be helping to raise your child. No matter the length of time, they will have an influence on your son or daughter. Make sure that this person loves and cares for your child and you trust them. 
Our sitter is absolutely wonderful. She is a strong Christian woman that is in love with my son. Seeing how happy she is when he comes makes my heart happy. I know he is so loved when he is there!

2. Have open communication with your sitter.
This is your child, so make sure all your concerns and wishes are made known. For me, making a Sitter Binder helped keep that communication open. 
(read about that here!)

 3. Prep everything the night before
 Have the diaper bag, your work bag, and clothes laid out for the next day. Go ahead and put the bags in the car so they are ready to go.
 That way in the morning, things will move much smoother. As a new mama, this is also a new concept. Having to not only get myself ready for work, but a baby ready as well. By prepping the night before, you will save a lot of frustration.  



4. Cherish the mornings
Make sure you wake up early enough to spend some cuddle time before the rush of the day and demands begin. Whether its by nursing or just snuggling for a few moments in bed, it will really help you keep perspective on your day.

5. The Crock Pot is your friend
Prep food the night before and in the morning, throw in the ingredients. When you get home from work...dinner is ready! This gives you extra time to snuggle with your baby and kiss on your hubby. Not jumping right into the kitchen when you get home!

6. Stick to your chore chart!
As stinky as chores are, if you stick to doing the assigned area or task for the day, you will save yourself a lot of work in the end! For me, I do the daily task during his morning nap before going to work. You could even do it after your little one goes to bed for the night. This will help you maintain your home and not have to spend an entire Saturday cleaning top to bottom!

7. Pray
Pray, pray, pray. Pray for peace. Pray for your child. Pray for your sitter. Pray with your husband. 
If returning to the work force is what is best for your family, then remind yourself of that. Even though it is hard. 
The first few days and weeks are tough, but routine helps.
Pray with your husband over your concerns and anxieties.
Reach out to some veteran working moms you know to pray for you and give you their own tips.
Motherhood is a challenge whether you are working out of the home or not.
So Mamas...does anyone else have any tips they would add to the list?

2 comments:

  1. We skip PJs, especially while its warm out. She gets a clean, fresh outfit right before she goes to bed. That way in the morning we just have to change her diaper and head out :)

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  2. It's party time over at Debt Free Mommy Blog and you're invited! Please come by and link up any post(s) related to making your home a better space. I hope you'll join us for Making Space Mondays. Hope to see you there! -Tabitha

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