Today is my first day back at work since having Mia and my longest day away from her. I am doing pretty well. I've only called the babysitter once and my husband once. I have been very sad today though, but luckily I've been busy trying to get back into the swing of things so I haven't had too much time to think about how much I miss Mia. I truly understand why some women want to stay at home with their babies and on some level envy them, but after 10 weeks home alone during the day with Mia I have a whole new respect for single moms.
I knew that returning to work would be difficult so I thought I'd surf the internet for some tips on how to transition back to work a little easier. I found a great article from Mayo Clinic to help me. A few of the main points that I pulled out of it that really helped me were:
- Let go of the guilt. It's not so much that I feel guilty working, but I feel guilty asking someone else to raise my child. How can I be a good mother and raise her in my image if I don't see her for 12 hours out of the day and someone besides Josh has her for 9 of those hours? Luckily another tip helped me deal with that.
- Provide continuity of care. Develop a good relationship with your baby's caregiver. Spend time talking to him or her when you drop off or pick up your baby. Share family stresses — both good and bad — that might affect your baby. Before you take your baby home, ask about any important events that occurred in your absence. Take time to periodically discuss your baby's progress and any problems or concerns. Lucky for me the sitter we are working with is one of my best friends and I've known her since 1st grade. She is very concerned about doing things the way I want them done and trying to stay consistant. She also doesn't care if I call her 20 times a day to check on Mia or make the trip to her house to pick Mia up early if I miss her too much.
- Stay connected. Check in with the sitter often and keep a picture of your baby on your desk. I'm on it! I have a bunch of pictures of Mia on my desk so I'm well connected and as Josh says it will help remind me why I'm here, because I have to provide for my baby.
- Honor your committment to breastfeeding. Bring your breast pump and storage containers and work out a pumping plan with your employer. I am very lucky to have an employer and a boss that is easy to work with. They offered me an unused office on the first floor with a desk and a locking door, even a variety of chairs to use for pumping twice a day.