There is no better joy than holding your baby in your arms for the first time. The excitement, happiness, and anxiety of being responsible for someone's life has its own rewards. But, as time passes, you have to make a decision between being a stay-at-home mom and concentrating on your career. Life never stops, and so you have to fulfill your responsibilities at home and work. Which is why, especially for a mother, the decision whether she should go back to work after having a baby is quite big.
The emotional roller coaster is bound to follow you with the decision. There is nothing that can prepare anyone or give the right answers while making this decision. However, if you have decided that going back to work is what you want and need to do at this point, then we have some helpful tips for you.
Going back to work after your baby's birth can take a toll on anyone. Being able to juggle work and home is tough and we understand that. But, that doesn't mean it's not doable. You can make a smooth transmission between the two, and we can help you with the "how". As you read the rest of the article, you will find out how you can be a caring, loving, and doting mother along with managing your work obligations.
Should You Go Back to Work After Having a Baby
Even though your decision is final and you have every intention of seeing it through, the feeling of guilt may nag you. Leaving your baby to be taken care of by someone else might make you seem selfish. But, these are the feelings that you have to work against and there will be certain expected and unexpected bumps along the way. What you need to know is that you are doing this to give your baby a better future. And in order to return to work in a guilt-free manner, follow these suggestions to have as little stress at work as possible.
- During your maternity leave, you can start working around the idea that soon you'll be returning to work. Take each day into consideration and plan accordingly. Guilt is the first hiccup which needs to be addressed. You know this very well that going back to work is not a selfish decision on your part. Raising a child is not easy, even if your husband/partner is doing well financially. Your decision, even if it is for a short period of time, is the right one for your family and yourself.
- Divide the responsibility of raising your child with your husband/partner. An extra set of hands never hurt anyone. Many a time, mothers fear or are skeptical that they won't be able to handle work and home properly. Which is why, receiving help, as much as you can, from the father will be beneficial. You will have more energy once you return home from work, can pay better attention to your child and other family members, and won't feel guilty for going back to work. Make a week-long chart and divide chores between one another.
- Make sure to keep as much quality time with your baby and family, after work, as you can. It is natural to feel exhausted and irritated after a long day at work. However, spending time with your baby and family is important too. In order to do that, once a week you can all cook together and catch up in the kitchen, get takeout to reduce stress, come up with easy dinner ideas, bathe the baby together (mother and father), read bedtime stories, take walks in the evening, etc.; doing things together as a family will bring you all closer than ever. Also, this helps in maintaining a balance in your work and personal life. Managing your time is the key here.
- Before going back to work, try to rest as much as you can and calm your mind. Your new work-home schedule is going to be hectic and it can take a toll on you. Which is why, you need to rest before you are burdened with more duties. Inform yourself from the beginning as to what kind of responsibilities are going to be given to you at work. This way, you can make a schedule for yourself that will give you enough time to be with your family and baby, take some time off for yourself, and give 100% at work as well.
- Don't bring issues home from work, and vice versa. This is one of the biggest errors made by mothers. There are times when you may have tons of work in the office. However, bringing the stress home will only make matters worse. When you start to think about multiple chores and duties, your brain can go into an overdrive and work nonstop. This may seem alright in the beginning, as you can handle it. But, after some time has passed, you will feel the load.
- Find a trustworthy babysitter or child care provider. Take advice from friends, colleagues, neighbors, and family members as to where you can find a reliable child care provider. Make sure you do a thorough research on whomsoever you choose before entrusting them with your child's safety and well-being. When you know your baby is safe, you will be able to pay better attention at work.
- If you don't feel that full-time work is possible, at the moment, choose to work part-time or work from home. It is actually a wonderful idea because this way, you, your family, and your baby will be able to familiarize with the change taking place. You can try this for a month or so, however much time you require, and discuss with your husband/partner whether full-time work is feasible.
- Now comes the point where we discuss breastfeeding. This will depend on how old your baby is when you decide to go back to work. If your baby is still breastfeeding, then you'll have to decide whether to wait till your baby stops breastfeeding or get a pump instead. You can store breast milk and have someone else bottle-feed your baby, when you're at work. As and when you need to, pump milk in order to store it. If you have to do this at work, suggest a workable schedule and discuss it with your boss. This way, there won't be any issues.
- If you are in a position to delegate tasks at work, take the opportunity. Many a time, we tend to take more responsibilities than we can handle. This is the number one reason why some of us are stressed and fatigued all the time. So, if you can assign some of the duties to your colleagues or team members, don't be afraid to do it. Trust me. You will return home with a better attitude and more energy than before.
All of these suggestions are of no use if you don't take proper care of yourself too. Of course, your family is important to you. However, you won't be able to take care of them if your health deteriorates while juggling work and home responsibilities. This means, speaking to your doctor and making up a health chart for yourself. Plenty of rest, eating wholesome meals, adequate physical activities, and lots of fun family time is what you need.
Going back to work after having a baby is not difficult; just a matter of what you decide and have to do. All it requires are a few helpful pointers and a strong determination. Since you have come this far with handling all sorts of responsibilities in your life, this is just another hurdle in the way that can be solved.