You go back to work next week. You can’t believe it. How did your maternity leave go by so quickly? And how in the world are you going to make these career/motherhood thing work? We find that everyone finds their groove at some point but we do have a few tips to make the return to the workplace a little easier.
Tip 1: Think about how you are going to feed your baby.
Whether that’s w a bottle of prepared formula or a bottle of expressed milk there’s a few ways you can make things a little easier on yourself. If you are planning to pump we recommend buying a second set of pump parts so you also have a clean set in rotation. You may even consider having a spare set to keep at the workplace. Pro tip: you do NOT need a huge freezer stash of breastmilk to return to work. We see so much anxiety over this. Really, you need 8-16 hours worth of breastmilk stored up. Depending on how much your baby eats each day during your work hours, that’s about the equivalent of 32 oz. Ignore those pics you see on Insta of chest freezers full of milk. If you are formula feeding we recommend using a method to easily prepare formula in a large batch. We love the Dr. Brown’s pitcher. You’ll probably want to make 4 3-4 oz bottles to send to daycare. Make sure you have an extra set of bottles so there’s always a few that are clean.
Tip 2: Do a trial run the week before you go back to work.
At this point you probably already have your childcare all set. Take a day and use it as a dress rehearsal. Most daycares will let you bring your baby for a few hours to help them-and you- transition. This will also help you practice getting you and baby out of the house with everything you both need. If you have someone coming to do in-home care, go ahead and schedule for them to come for a few hours a couple of times the week before you go back to work.
Tip 3: Get everything ready the night before.
Literally everything. Go ahead and plan your outfit and accessories and set them out. Get out baby’s outfit. Pack the diaper bag. Pack your pump bag with clean, sterilized parts. Make a big batch of formula and pour bottles for the next day (formula is good for 24 hours). Don’t forget to label them with your baby’s name and the date. Set an alarm on your phone for the morning to help you remember to grab the bottles of formula. Pack your lunch. Sit everything by your front door. We have been known to set our car keys on top of this pile by the front door so we don’t walk out and forget it.
Tip 4: Toss the guilt out with the trash.
Maybe you are feeling guilty about leaving your child in someone else’s care. Maybe you are feeling guilty about being excited and happy about your return to the workforce. Maybe you feel a mix of both. All we know if that mom guilt is real and seems to be lurking in just about every situation. Who needs it?! We think that a happy, healthy mom is what is best for baby. If that means rocking a conference room or winning a legal battle for a high-profile client, so be it!
We hope this helps you make the return to the workforce a little smoother and a little easier for you.