It’s not an easy decision, sometimes it’s not even a decision. It just is.
Heading back into the workforce after having your little one is often a big transition for not only you, but the rest of the family. In this article, I’ve outlined the top 5 tips that helped me going back into the workforce.
Here are the top 5 tips I have for you when heading back to work:
- Breath. The tired, cranky and emotional
- Be prepared. Water cooler chat is not the same
- Take time for you
- Let go of the guilt from daycare
- Remember – you are amazing!
1. Breathe. The tired, cranky and emotional
I think this is an obvious one that you’re probably already expecting, but when the actuality of experiencing it happens, it can hit you like a brick.
Now is the time for self-care and compassion with yourself and others around you. Not only is this an adjustment for you, but your little one and family as well.
Know that you will be cranky and perhaps a few more arguments will occur. Know that the kids will be tired, and probably cranky too as their routine has shifted. All of these will bring up the emotions that are sometimes overwhelming to us all.
Breathe. Take a moment in and let yourself feel the emotions. It’s ok. What you then do with the emotions is your choice.
2. Be prepared. Water cooler (or Zoom chats) are not the same
If you’re going back into an office, you’ll find the usual chit chat around the office that was once about weekend outings is now about milestones your kids are making.
I wasn’t warned before having kids, the kinds of conversations that occur between adults in an office regarding their children.
Be prepared for the comparisons of a lifetime. You’ll often find the folks that their children are just the best at everything. They’re in every sport, top rated pre-schools or daycares and well above their developmental milestone. If you thought playgroups were tough, just wait till you experience the office crowd.
Know that you’re doing ok. Your kids are where they’re meant to be at, whether that is above or below someone else’s standards does not matter. They are where they’re meant to be. Be proud of where your little ones (and you) are at.
3. Take time for you
Let go of the guilt mama, it’s ok to feel like you’re not getting the whole list of to-do’s done. It’s ok to come home and have the house still a bit of a mess. The dishes can wait a bit. Take the time that you can after coming home with the little ones to spend that time with them, but don’t forget about you.
When the kids were little, we didn’t have much time with them after pickup from daycare and coming home to make dinner. After dinner was a bath, story and bed. Then, we’d sit down, often tired from our own workday and try to spend time together while also trying to balance our own need of self-care.
Try and let go. Reconnect with yourself and partner. The todo list WILL get accomplished (something that you can work on in balance with your own time).
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4. Let go of the guilt from childcare
For me, putting my kids in daycare was SO hard. I’m beyond grateful that we had an amazing friend and care provider that eased the stress, guilt and emotions associated with me not tending to my kids on my own.
For me, it felt like I failed the kids. That I was the one to be raising them at all times and seeing what was best for them. In reality, putting them in daycare provided them with the opportunities that I would not have given them.
The kids formed strong friendships with the other little ones and an amazingly woman that provided them with different experiences and fun!
When you’ve found a location and providers you feel are a fit for you, the kids will adjust and so will you.
5. Remember – YOU are AMAZING!
You’ve got this mama! You are an amazingly strong woman and will get through the transition back into the workforce. Whether you work from home, in an office, for yourself or someone else. Your routine may differ, but the transition back will still be a journey unto itself.
Take a moment to give yourself some love. Try and see the light and smiles through it all. Let yourself say ‘YES’ when someone offers you help.