For a new mom, stepping back into the workplace can be daunting – whether you’re going straight in after your maternity leave is up or returning to work after a year at home. Conflicted emotions that you’re leaving your baby is completely normal and expected. So instead of worrying about what you’re feeling, here are some ways to help ease those back-to-work nerves…without the guilt!
Tune Out Criticism
Inevitably, working moms will encounter others who’ve made different decisions than you regarding career. It can be very difficult to ignore criticism of your choice to go back to work, but don’t get discouraged by people who judge the fact that you work outside of the home.
The Kids Will Be Fine!
Studies show that kids in quality daycare score higher on cognitive and verbal comprehension tests. This isn’t to say that daycare is superior – every situation has its pros and cons – but rather to reassure you that those hours you put in at work are not harming your child.
Plan And Delegate
Setting clear expectations with your mom (the abuelita), partner or caregiver about responsibilities at home is important to make you feel at peace. If it’s part of the agreement, set in place a clear plan for household duties like food shopping, cooking and cleaning. If this is taken care of, you will prevent many frustrating episodes when you come back home from work.
You can also check out these handy apps that make home management a little easier!
Cut Yourself Some Slack
Returning to work can be stressful, but it can also be invigorating and you’ll never know for sure how you’ll feel when the time comes for this transition. Give yourself a break mami! Expect the first month (at the least) to be challenging and don’t beat yourself up. If you need to hear a supportive voice, call your partner or friend who has chosen to go back to work like you.
It’s normal to feel sad that you’re separated from your child, but many working moms find that photos and occasional visits, can go a long way towards making you feel more connected to your baby during the day. Even a lunchtime Facetime session can do wonders for comforting baby (and mom)!