Going back to work after a baby

Going back to work after a baby?

We had the most amazing Antenatal Teacher when I was pregnant with my son.  The late Rosemary Gauld (IBCLC) was one of South Africa’s top Lactation Consultants so the focus in her classes was on Breastfeeding.  

After the course, I made a firm decision to follow Rose’s powerful recommendations to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months and nurse for at least 2 years. 

I worked for a company that offered 4 months Maternity Leave at half pay.  I went to my boss and asked for 6 months Maternity leave (with no pay for the last 2 months).  She said no.   So… with my hubby’s support and lots of number crunching, I chose to resign.

This was the best decision I ever made for our nursing journey.  Because 6 months turned into nearly 4 years.  We went full-term.  And I am so grateful I never had to go back to full-time employ.

My hubby asked me to go back to work when my son was a year old. We found the perfect position through a brilliant Recruitment Agency called Recruit My Mom.  

It was a Sales Coaching position at a company about 3km’s from my house, mornings only, two mornings a week and it paid well.  I started when my son was 15 months old.

I found a creche nearby but I just couldn’t get used to leaving my little one there, crying.  I was a total wreck until his Teacher would send me a photo of him playing.  Then he got sick and I missed a couple of day’s work.  And it was even harder to leave him at creche after that.

We just weren’t ready.

Fortunately, my husband supported me in letting that job go too.  

I went back to being a stay-at-home Mom.

At 2 years-old I felt my son was ready for Play School.  We found one within walking distance and he started going 3 mornings a week.  I started working from home on my first blog, Happy Human Pacifier, while he was at Playschool and during his afternoon nap.  

We were lucky.  We got to live the dream. Many Moms HAVE to go back to work, usually long before they are ready.  

If you’re in this position, no doubt you are feeling all kinds of mixed emotions. Here’s a helpful contributed post to ease some of your stress…

Mom’s, Make The Transition Back To Work After Having A Baby Less Stressful

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Whether you decide to work from home, start your own business or return to your salaried position, the transition from being a full-time mom to a working one can be tough.

Luckily there are some ways you can make it a little easier for both you and Baby.

Check out my post below to find out how.

Keep your hand in

It can be pretty intimidating to have to return to work once you have had your baby. You may wonder what has been going on, whether you can still cut it, and whether you will be able to balance being a mom and a valuable worker too?

To help you with this is useful to keep your ‘hand in’ regarding your job as much as possible.  This may mean visiting on occasion, speaking and meeting up with colleagues or even reading articles about the latest developments in your field.

Now, you don’t have to go crazy and of course, baby will be your priority during your maternity leave. However, doing a little of the actions suggested above can help quell the anxiety and stress as you make the transition.

Consider other employment options

The stress and anxiety may be harder to dismiss if you are returning a job that you didn’t partially like in the first place. With that in mind, maternity can be the perfect time to explore other options and even get trained in another area or trade.

Something that can help you do this is reviewing the best trade courses that are available in your area and whether you can attend these while baby is young. In fact, you will find that the best providers offer special facilities for young babies that will help you study and keep Baby happy at the same time.

Be firm about your expectations

Next, to make the transition from being a full-time mom to a working mom a little easier you must be firm on your expectations. What the mean is that you need to know how many days per week you want to work, how many hours per day and the time you will be expected to work from and to.

It is so important to have all of this decided before you enter the work environment. This is because it can help you get the correct balance between work and life, something that will ensure you and Baby as happy as possible in the long term.

Don’t be hard on yourself

Lastly, to reduce the stress of the transition, you must learn to be gentle and kind to yourself. There will be tough bits like when you have to leave Baby with childcare for the first time, and when you boss is itching for you to do that over time, but you have to pick the little one up by 6 pm.

There will also be times when you have had the worst nights sleep ever, and maybe you are not at the top of your A game, and guess what that is OK!

After all, you have a lot on your plate, so make sure you don’t end up as your own worst critic if you want the transition from full-time mom to working mom to go as smoothly as possible.

Over to You, Moms

Do you have to go back to work soon?  How are you feeling about it?  

Or do you have a story to share about your transition back to work?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.