Last week I cried. Maybe the most I have cried since having my baby (and I am a bit of crier). I cried because it was my first week back at work, leaving my little one behind, and it completely broke my heart.
The night before, I cried because I knew I was leaving her, and I felt bad that she didn’t know. On the way to work, I cried when I saw her empty car seat in my rear view mirror. At work, I cried because I missed her smile, and her smell, and her raspberries. When I picked her up, I cried because she had been fine without me, and I needed to be needed. I cried just now, remembering how I felt. But we survived.
This week I didn’t cry. Much.
This week other Mums will cry, though, because they are returning to work and missing their little angels too. So I thought I would put a little list of how I got through it, and what advise I would give other Mummies stepping back into the harsh working world after being wrapped up in the softness of motherhood.
- Wait until you are ready
Unfortunately that really isn’t an option for everybody. I would have loved to take much more time away from work to spend with my little one, or perhaps been a stay-at-home mum, but that wasn’t financially viable for us.
If at all posable, I would advise anyone to wait until they feel ready to go back into the adult world, and wait until your child is ready.
- Leave your child with someone you trust
If you are planning to leave your child in a day care environment, look around a few to get a feel for what you want and what will be best for your baby. If you are worrying about them, you won’t be productive at work, so make sure you feel comfortable with whomever you are dropping them off with.
I am so lucky to have my wonderful Mum to help me look after Flossie, so I know I don’t have to worry about her getting the care she needs. It also means that I can be a bit bossy about her sticking to her usual routine and know that it will still be followed, which is great.
(If you read this Mum, thank you!)
- Keep busy
Luckily, this wasn’t something I had much of a choice in, as teachers and headless chickens bare many similar traits. Once I actually got to work, I had thirty little voices to keep my mind away from home. My lunch break was hard, and I may or may not have a little cry in the toilets (I did, we all know I did), but the rest of the day slipped by quickly as they all do.
I think that keeping distracted and focusing on the job helps, that way, before you know it, your back with your little one in your arms. Plus, the chances are, they had a wonderful day!
- Keep work at work
It is so easy to think about work before you go, when you get back, at night when you should be sleeping, during the day when you should be spending time with family. You could just answer a quick phone call at nap time, just type up a couple of emails after the baby has gone to bed. This is something I always struggled with before having a child, so I imagine I will have the same struggles now. But I will try not to.
I have begun to set myself a time to leave work. I will work hard up until the time, but when it comes, I leave, and I don’t take work with me. If it hasn’t been done, no one will die if it waits until tomorrow (at least not in my job).
- Make the most of time off with your family
When you do have time off, soak it all up!
I feel that a couple of days at work per week are enough to ensure I make the most of the time I spend with Flossie. Rather than putting things off until tomorrow, we do them straight away. We go to play groups, walks and swimming, because we have less days to fit it all in.
At the weekend, we try to do something as a whole family, as I know my husband has even less time with her that I do.
- Make the most of your time at work
As much as you soak up the time with your baby when you’re at home, try to make the most of not being ‘Mummy’ when you’re at work. It is a time to be you, a you that doesn’t have baby sick on her shoulder, talc on her jeans and remnants of milk on your wrist. Take the time to remember w you were before children, who you are now. Being a Mummy is the best thing in the world, but you may as well make the most of being you too.
Although I have to admit, I go from Mummy to Mrs M, I am NEVER Jade! Maybe here I am?
I really hope these tips help someone returning to work, because it can be such a crappy time.
Do you have any tips on enjoying being back at work? Is there a best time return?
Thank you for reading.
Love Jade xxx