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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Tips for returning to work!

Last Monday marked my return to work after a year of maternity leave.  I had mixed emotions leading up to this day as I'm sure many moms do.  Part of me was excited to have some time away from the house and I truly love what I do.  However, the thought of leaving J all day was heartbreaking.  When I was feeling sad about this I would remind myself how lucky we are here in Canada to get a year to stay home with our babies. This helped... A little.

However, regardless of how I felt, the day came and I had to take the plunge.  Now that I'm a week into it, here are a few tips I put together for those of you that are approaching this life changing event.... OK maybe life changing is a little dramatic but it is a big adjustment for the whole family!

10 Tips for parents who are returning to work:

1. Start your daycare search early.  Depending on your location I've heard of parents who have to put their name on wait list almost as soon as they find out they are pregnant!  I started my search when J was about 2 months old and once I had a spot secured I was able to enjoy the rest of my time at home without worrying about childcare.

2.  Have backups.  Even if you love the first daycare you visit make sure to visit a few more and keep your name on their list.  I've heard of many parents who's daycare closes a month before they return to work for whatever reason and they are scrambling.  if you've already visited others at least you aren't starting from scratch at the 11th hour!

3. Do trial days before you go back to work.  Whether your little one will be staying with family members or going to daycare, start transitioning a week or two before you are actually back at work.  We started with a half day, followed by 2 full days a week for the 2 weeks before I went back.  not only did this help J adjust, it also gave me some time to get myself and the house ready.  I made a bunch of freezer meals, gave the house a really good scrub from top to bottom and had a massage and a pedicure too!

4. As mentioned above, prepare meals ahead of time.  I made enough freezer meals for the first 3 week so all I had to do the morning of was put them in the slow cooker and dinner was ready when we got home!    

5. Do as much as possible the night before.  Pack lunches, pick out clothes, pack bags, prep for breakfast ect.  Trying to get yourself and a little one out the door on time in the morning is challenging so the less you actually have to do the better.

6. Have an honest conversation with work.  My first day back I had a meeting with my boss and we went over expectations we had.  For example what if the baby is sick, the day home closes for a day because she is sick ect.  I'm lucky to work for an amazing company which emphasizes the importance of work/life balance and are very understanding.  Having this conversation with your superiors will help when a situation arises... Which it will!

7. If possible, use vacation days to ease back into it.  I was lucky enough to have a lot of saved vacation time so I was able to start off at 3 days a week, transition to 4 days a week before I'll finally be back to 5 days in September.

8. Buy doubles of everything and leave them at daycare.  Less to carry back and forth and less of a chance to forget something.

9. Give yourself extra time in the morning.  Babies have a way of not cooperating when you need them to the most... You know what I mean!

10. Discuss expectations and responsibility with your partner.  Who will do daycare drop offs?  Pick ups?  Make dinner? Dishes?  My husband and I sat down and made a list of just about every household task.  We then decided who would be responsible for each one.  Of course things don't always go to plan but the list helps keep us on track.

When all is said and done dropping J off at daycare is hard but I know he has fun there and I am enjoying my adult time at work.  Plus he's all smiles when I pick him up and he loves to cuddle in the evenings!
         Hanging out while I prepare dinner!

I hope this list helps those of you who will soon be retuning to work and I'dlove to hear your back to work stories.  Comment below!


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