Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Working Mommy Wednesday...

Oh, it's the middle of a busy week at work!  I hope you're week is going's always fun for me to link up with Julia and the other moms at Working Mommy Wednesday.  The prompt this week...Your best advice to a new mom returning to work.

Heading back to work is hard...there are so many details to consider and so many new things to worry about.  These are the top 5 things I would consider and plan for:
1. Child Care... Before the first day back at work, make sure you know who will be taking care of the kids.  This decision will be different depending on if this is your first, and if you have school age children or not.  I would suggest employing your child care options at least a day or two prior to that first day back at work.  You're going to want to know who long it takes to exchange children, what needs to be packed and prepared ahead of time and how you'll feel when you leave. We have a sort of complicated balance between an aunt, grandmas and Daddy...who's usually home.  Since our boys are school-aged, we also share car pooling, play dates and pick-ups.  Our Cozi Calendar helps us keep track of where the boys are.  And...when my first was a baby, my Gram often took care of him.  She wrote a note to me each day, in his voice, recounting the adventures during the day.  It made me feel more connected to what was going on and less guilty that I was missing something.  It's ok to ask for as much information as you need to feel comfortable.

2. Routine...This is my saving grace, having a routine and making sure that everyone involved {including the kids} knows the routine.  When will you get up in the morning?  Will you have to get multiple people ready at the same time?  What can you prepare the night before?  What time do you have to leave?  How long will it take to say good-bye?  What time do you really have to leave?  A well-organized morning routine can keep everyone happy and get you to work feeling ready-to-go rather than exhausted. Since my husband works 24 hour shifts and has 3 days off in between, we have a couple different morning routines.  Regardless of which day it is however, the boys know what they need to do and so do the make sure everyone makes it out of the house happy, fed and on-time!

3. Support...Do you have a go-to friend at work?  Someone who has kids and understands what you're going through?  I strongly suggest finding someone either at work or available through text/email.  You're going to need someone to chat with and share the joys and frustrations.  I am so lucky to work in a school with a young, family friendly staff.  In the 10 years I have worked there, at least two babies have been born to teachers each year.  No matter what is going on with my kids, there is someone who has insight to share and is willing to listen.

4. Organized...Babies and children at home increase the need to be well-organized at work (and probably in other aspects of your life too!)  I was willing to work longer hours before I had babies waiting for me at home.  By creating to-do lists and being effiecient in how I spent my time, I was able to leave work when I was supposed to.  I sometimes bring work home, and finish up after the kids are in bed, but I try very hard to make my job fit into the hours in which I am paid.

5. Fun...Working mommy-hood is hard.  You have to be organized, detailed and work hard to keep all the balls in the air.  The first part of fun is to cut yourself some slack...all those balls won't stay up in the air.  Know this, as you go back to work and don't expect yourself to be perfect.  Another part of fun is to make sure you have some new things for yourself...a couple of new outfits that are just for work can go a long way to making you feel better about going back to work.  Finally, take time to relax and play.  Whether it's on your own, on a date with your significant other or with the whole family...have fun! This isn't always easy for me...I want everything to run smoothly but that's not reality.  My husband and I love movies! And when I am taking kids to practice...I always take my book along with me :)


  1. Having support is huge! One of the hardest things for me when I returned to work was the lack of support. I had been a SAHM for years, and all the moms I knew were from homeschool groups. It took some time to find support from other working moms, but finding it made a huge difference for me.

  2. Checking in from WMW - I agree about the routine. I never realized how awesome a routine is until I figured one out that worked for me and my son. Routine is my middle name now! Great advice!

  3. I find the support to be the hardest part. I think its fairly typical for working moms to be very protective of the little time we have with our kiddos and therefore are hesitant to spend any additional time away from them. Luckily, I recently found a Working Mommy playgroup locally on Meetup and look forward to attending some of those events.

  4. Remembering to have fun is important! I think I forget that way too often.

  5. Support and routine! Both are important and the routine helps the kiddies so much. Great post!


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