Tips for New Moms Going Back to Work
Going back to work as a new mother can be as exciting as it is intimidating. Despite how you may be feeling, going back to work is a positive thing. Feelings of guilt or anxiety are common, but there are ways to overcome these challenges to make the transition back into the workforce as seamless as possible. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Give yourself a break. Remember—you are a good mom. Whether you decide to stay home, or if you work—you are a good mom. Different family situations require different means to an end. If you’re a single parent, or if you are a dual-income family, moms need to work. There’s nothing wrong with that. It simply is what it is. Another thing to keep in mind is that some parents are healthier individuals when they have a work/home life balance. You are setting an excellent example for your child no matter what you choose. Being the best version of you will give your child the best future.
- Set up a healthy check-in system with your caregiver. Refrain from checking in every hour. It isn’t good for you or the person who is taking care of your child. That doesn’t mean that you have to be totally disconnected, however; plan to have about 2-3 times where you check in to keep you sane, and to give your child and the caregiver the ability to have a productive day. Ask your caregiver to send a picture or two, or have a brief chat during your lunch break to make sure everything is going smoothly. You can also set up pictures or little reminders to have at your desk that you can look at in between check-ins.
- Give the caregiver a little space. If you are uncomfortable with allowing your caregiver to have some space, then you may have the wrong caregiver. Refrain from setting up video cameras or other nanny cams. You want to feel at peace with leaving your child alone with this person for a few hours without worry. Keep searching for the right person or daycare if you aren’t completely comfortable with the person you have currently. Remember that having someone else be the caregiver during the day does not replace you. You are still the mom who is the primary caregiver. You are doing what’s best for you and your family. By having a caregiver, you now have more people who love and care for your child.
- Maintain your mental health. Being a new mom is hard, and being a working mom is even harder. You’re going to feel numerous emotions all at once, and it can be difficult to navigate those waves of emotions as they come. There’s no way to prepare for it, except to accept that it will happen, and have a plan for how to handle it. It is a good idea to set up an appointment with a therapist or counselor to help you stay in a healthy mental state. Postpartum depression can happen at any time during the first year after your child’s birth. Other underlying issues may rear their ugly head with all of the new demands on your life. Seeing a therapist is just like seeing the doctor for a check-up. It’s a good way to catch things before they become big problems so that you can be the best mom to your little one.
Above all, stay confident! You’re a great mom, and you’ve decided to go back to work to support your family. Changes in life can add twists and turns, but it’s nothing that you can’t handle. If you start to feel overwhelmed, remember that you can reach out for help and you’ll be greeted with welcome arms from friends, family, or a therapist. You got this, mom!