Last week I started back at work and although it has been hard, I am managing and have a few tips for other mama’s who are going back to work. Some background on me work wise – I worked full-time (40hours) throughout my pregnancy as a Sales Associate at Country Road. I had to cut my hours going back to 32 as I could only arrange for Benicio to be looked after four days a week (two days with my Mama and two days with Jade) so I am still working a decent amount.
I have gone back straight after maternity leave which has shocked many people since Benny is only three months but I had not been at my job for a full year so legally they would not of held my job for longer than the three months plus we are saving for some big things in our future and we can achieve our financial goals faster if I went back.
So without further adieu here are my tips for other working Mama’s:
- If you have family or friends looking after your baby get them to send photos to you during the day so you can see how your baby is and what they are up to. We are so lucky these days that we can contact people easily with cell phones and send photos – I cant imagine how hard it would of been to be a working Mama back in the day!
- Stay organised – this tip is good for anyone but especially for working parents. I have always been an organised person and it has helped me to stay on top of my home life now that I work again. I use to do lists, have a diary and also have written up a cleaning list to make my life easier and so that I can manage my time at home more efficiently.
- If you can, have whoever is looking after your baby bring them in during your lunch on the first shift. I understand this is not possible for everyone but if you can, please do! My partner thought of this on my first day and I cant even explain how happy I was to see Benny as well as how much of a boost I had after to get through my first shift.
- Work hard – this tip is the most important. When I am at work I keep busy and just constantly work to try and distract myself from thinking of him too much as that is usually when I begin to feel sad. Not only does working hard distract from missing him but it also shows my fellow coworkers and manager that I am a hard worker as well as make me feel good about myself for doing a great job. So a win all around!
- Ignore stupid comments – this is easier said then done sometimes. I honestly did not expect as many comments about me going back as I did. I know many people in retail do not go back after maternity leave but people were beyond shocked I came back – especially at how early I did. The worst comment I received was a customer who said something along the lines of “doesn’t your baby really need you” referring to him being so young. This comment broke my heart and I was annoyed as I would never tell a stranger something so heartless but in the end I know working is the best thing for my family (only speaking about our situation as everyone’s is different).
Even with these tips the transition will be hard. I had not spent more than one hour (two separate times) from Ben since he had been born. I know most people have more time away but I wanted to use my maternity leave to be with him 24/7 and I do not regret that decision in the slightest.
I have only cried once since going back. I heard a small baby cry and I thought of Ben which made me think how I should of been at home looking after him so I went to the bathrooms and cried. Afterwards I pulled myself together and went back to work and I was fine for the rest of the shift. There’s no shame in crying when you first go back as its such a big change and for me it felt better letting it out than holding it all in.
I hope these tips have helped you if you are heading back to work or are already back and having a hard time. I have only been back for four shifts and its gotten easier every time.
I have the mindset that the time I have at home with Benny now is all about the quality not quantity and relish every moment spent with him.