Back at the office, away from your children: no drama!
The time has come, the moment that many mothers dread. After months of happiness, new feelings and emotions spent with your new baby, you’re back to reality, back to the office – a change which can affect some more, and some less.
This is the start of a difficult period for mums, a conflict between work and home, that makes you feel like you have less time, less energy and massive feelings of guilt that makes you say “I’m not working enough” or “I’m not spending enough time with my children!”
We’re here to tell you: stop the drama! We have put together a list of practical tips that can help you deal with these changes, for your family and children, and help you get back to work with your head held high.
Don’t isolate yourself in the first months with your newborn.
As soon as baby is born, mums want to spend as much time as they can with them, nurturing and protecting them, but this does not mean removing yourself completely from the outside world!
Go out, go for walks, meet friends with small babies. This will help you in that first period of motherhood. The exchange between mums will help you understand the importance of some quite common situations - Troubles with sleeping for example, or the first meals - without giving them too much weight.
Who will look after my children to when I am at the office?
In this case the watchword is just one: trust. Because when there is trust there is also peace of mind. Before going back to work, make sure you have found a solution and you know who will be looking after your children. Whether they are grandparents or a babysitter, the important thing is that you are free of anxiety or doubts on the choice that you’ve made.
Children, even if they are really young, still perceive their mum’s mood and can feel her uncertainties and fears even just by the sound of the voice and behaviour. This is why it is really important that you are the first ones to have complete trust in whoever you are leaving your little one with.
Each mum needs to reach a certain level of self-confidence and express any doubts (and wishes) to the person who will be looking after the baby. Knowing the teachers of the nursery, for example, or sharing thoughts with the grandparents, or specifically letting the babysitter know what you expect of them during this delicate time of separation.
Back to work, one step at a time.
If you have the chance, make sure that going back to work happens step by step, for example start with half a day, then go up to 6 hours, slowly getting back to full-time. Going from life at home, all day together with your little one, to the professional world is not easy or worry-free for mums. However, a slow process, ‘step by step’, makes the separation less painful and more peaceful for the baby, and the mum.
However, the main point is still the mood with which the mother handles things: it is very important that going back at work is not seen as giving up on your role as a mother.
A woman does not lose her role as a mother if she’s not present all day with her little ones. What really matters is being in control of what happens to the baby even when you are physically away from them. This is why it is so important to trust the people that take care of your little one while you’re away, asking for detailed reports of their day.
Then when your children have grown up a little bit, you can ask them directly, for example, what they have been doing while they were at the nursery, or if they had fun with their babysitter or their grandparents. Children have to understand the message that even if mum is not there for a while, it’s as if she were.
The way your children adapt will surprise you!
Even if it’s normal that you returning to work will be accompanied by a certain dose of anxiety and guilt, it is good to consider that every baby is able to adapt to changes. Babies have to learn to experience separation from their mum because it enriches their world.
In other words, you need to take the necessary steps to make sure that your children feel completely comfortable, respecting the time they need to do just that.
You are not Wonder Woman!
The watchword is to learn how to delegate: it is impossible to get everything done perfectly!
This is why, you should ask dad to step in, for example, to bath the baby calmly, play with the baby without having to worry about making dinner.
Every woman should give herself a sort of symbolic speech, often repeating to herself:‘’Ok, I’m a mum, now I have a new role, but not just this one!” Try and find some time for yourself and if something should slip out of your control, don’t panic, you’re human!