Time to go back to work, tips I found helped a smooth transition
Becoming a parent has been the hardest, most rewarding and best experience in my life. This little person grows so quickly and in no time at all its time to make a decision of what to do about work and whether to go back.
There are so many options, but not always for every mum. For me, I always knew that after the initial 6 months I had to go back to work full time. When little J finally made an appearance, the thought of having to leave him for 8 hours a day was just the most awful thought ever.
I had many sleepless nights dreading returning to work. The guilt was overwhelming and how was anyone going to provide J a happy and loving environment to thrive in as me, his mum?
Do you know what? I've been back a month now, and it’s not been anywhere near as awful as I had imagined.
Here are some of the things that have collectively made the transition smoother than I could ever have expected.
1) Find a solution that suits you best
There are lots of options for childcare, and sometimes I forgot that.
I automatically thought j was going to a particular crèche... however, there were so many other crèches and then I realised there were child minder options too. Set aside time to visit as many options as possible. We visited about 8, and at the 8th place, I just knew that was the one that suited J and us. Your gut feeling is powerful, trust it. Have a wish list and question list when visiting, and ask the same questions at each place. It makes it much easier to compare.
2) Settling in days
These are so important. Not just for baby, but for Mummy and Daddy too! Make sure you leave sufficient time for this as it can sometimes take longer that you think. We had 8 sessions over 3 weeks, the first being just 45 minutes, then building up to a full day. That first 45 min session I walked away in tears, (and sessions 2,3 and 4 come to think of it!) but by the time I went back to work it almost seemed normal and I knew he was in familiar surroundings and they knew him and his routine.
3) Establish a good routine before baby starts Crèche
What I learnt during our search was that some crèches have a set routine that all babies then fit into – whilst others take each baby's own routine and go by this. You will choose what suits you. Our crèche asked us for J's routine and stick (as much as possible) to that. About 6-8 weeks before he started, I stuck religiously to the Blissful Baby Expert's suggested routine for J. This made a massive difference to him settling into crèche so easily. He loves his routine and knows if he's at home or crèche there is the comfort of consistency.
4) Voicing anxiety
It's a difficult and anxious time. Make sure that your close family and partner understand how you are feeling about it. They can help reassure you and understand if you are not in the best form, why. Don't think you have to be superhuman!
5) Give yourself a break
Stop beating yourself up! Guilt is such a horrible feeling and one thing I’ve learnt becoming a mum, is that every single day I will feel guilty and worried about something! You are often your own worst enemy and making yourself feel guilty about sending your baby to crèche is not helpful. You wouldn’t make someone else feel guilty so why do it to yourself?
6) Have a good relationship with child's keyworker
This I’ve found is so important. J's keyworker always asks if I have any concerns or questions, she is approachable, loving to J and I feel confident that she would always inform me if something was not quite right. She encourages me to call during the day if I am ever worried. The first week I was on that phone all the time! It was good to know they understood it was tough for parents as well as the babies.
The 'report' we get each day is just the best thing! I really look forward to reading the detailed account of his adventures, they have so much fun.
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