the return to work | preparations

by - Tuesday, June 25, 2013

With less than two weeks to go, I've started my preparations for my journey back into the workplace.  While you can never completely prepare yourself for that first day back on the job, there are a few steps that I've taken to make sure that everything is in place and at the very least, make the transition a bit more smooth. I'm hoping these might help anyone going through the same thing, and maybe even start a discussion, too.  I'd love to know what helped you make your transition!

Inventory your freezer

For those of you breastfeeding, it was so important to try and gauge how much milk my child would need for the amount of time I would be away from her and plan accordingly.  If you have the ability to start building up a stockpile of freezer milk before you go back - even better!

Plan a practice day

It's as beneficial for you as it is for your newborn to have a trial run of being away from each other.  Practice setting your alarm when you would normally get up for work and try packing up your baby, driving to your caregivers, and making your commute. You could spend a few hours to yourself running errands or hitting a yoga class, just to get the feel of being away while at the same time, giving your child a chance to spend a few hours with his or her caregiver and to receive expressed milk.

Check-in with childcare 

I'm lucky to have family watching over Sofia and Alba when I return to work, but still, I will spend time making sure each set of grandparents know which days they are responsible, know when/where we are arranging "pick up" and "drop off" and which times Alba will have to feed.  It's important for me to feel confident that when the time comes, I'm certain I will have covered everything important so I won't be scrambling to remember little details.

Take a "duvet day"

The one thing I'm looking forward to most throughout this journey is my plan to take at least one day to stay in bed and cuddle this new baby of mine.  For those of your with older toddlers or children, that means arranging a sitter or requesting the help of your husband or partner. You owe it to yourself! More often than not, it seems that this time we're all supposed to use as rest and recover usually ends up meaning we jump straight back into our old routines instead.  Being the typical Type-A personality that I am, I hardly ever accepted help even though I knew I needed it, and ran around more than I would have liked to after this pregnancy.  Thankfully all is well with my recovery, but I've missed those days of only having one child to be responsible for (meaning I could stay in bed all day and nurse if I wanted to!) I am truly looking forward to one last chance to bond and rest with Alba before I have to start being away from her during the day.

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  1. Wow, Kate ... you are incredible. That's all. Kellie xx

  2. Really great advice. I hope to do all of them. It was difficult to return the first time and I'm curious how things will compare now. I have a tendency to want to be in control of circumstances surrounding the girls and letting go of that is difficult - especially with childcare.
    Adorable photo :)

  3. what kellie said! that and i think we should all move to a country with 1 year maternity leave... hello canada! xx

  4. I was so so lucky to have a year at home with Teddy before going back to continue my PhD. I honestly don't know if I would have been ready earlier, however I imagine now that I've realised the sky won't fall if Teddy spends time at daycare it will be easier leaving the second baby in the care of someone else a bit earlier on in the piece. Thank you for this post - I adore the idea of a day spent in bed with the new baby! xox

  5. Going to back to work this early can be incredibly hard, but I am glad you have found a way to ease the transition. I was lucky enough to extend my maternity leave from twelve months to sixteen months. Here in Canada, the first twelve months of mat leave are paid.

  6. You all are making me wish I lived in Canada right now! ;)

  7. I love this image... the graininess is perfect ;) I have family watching my kiddos on the days I work too. And I stockpiled like crazy... I got a bit obsessed, really... so much so I ended up donating milk cuz I had no more room in the freezer. We just bought a second fridge for the garage because I started stockpiling again in preparation for weaning... (he'll be a year next month)... and I want to give him my expressed milk for as long as I can. Aren't you envious of all these people that get a year off with their newbies?! Me too.

  8. .....why don't I live in Canada?! I'm going back to work part time in mid-August and am totally dreading it. I'm looking forward to hearing what you and other mamas have to say about making the transition back to work a smooth one. I have a feeling I'm going to need lots of tips!