Nothing in life is constant, change is inevitable. Unfortunately, many Moms have to face the harsh reality and get back to work after just a few months of maternity leave – just like I had to.
The thought of being away from your little one is absolutely daunting, regardless of who will be looking after baby. Be it a family member, Daycare or Nanny who will be watching your child, you have to have prepare yourself and your little one for that change in routine.
We’ve had a few changes in routine over the past few years.With Alyssa, my Mom took care of her after I went back to work, up until she was about 19 months. Then she stayed with a Nanny up until she went to pre-school. The same Nanny now looks after Aidan.
I thought I’d share some tips which helped our family transition through some of these changes – perhaps it could help you:
1. Planning Ahead
We were very happy when my Mom offered to look after Alyssa. What better option than having your Mom look after your first child? Still – it required planning and we had to logistically plan what our daily routine would be like.
Also, in order for my Mom and Alyssa to get “used to” each other, I would often drop Alyssa off at my parents place for a couple of hours once or twice a week, during the weeks leading up to my return to work. If anything, it certainly made me feel at ease knowing that they were comfortable with each other.
Alyssa was also a BOOBIE addict and literally refused to take the bottle from anyone for a long time. We had to persist in our attempts to feed her expressed breast milk DAILY and eventually she gave in. This was extremely stressful, but thankfully she budged just a couple of weeks before I had to return.
It was a lot easier with Aidan, as we had no problem introducing the Nanny as she was there from Day 1 and is thankfully still with us. He and she both found their routine fairly easily.
2. Feedback loop
Having a feedback loop with your Child’s caregiver is vital.
How many bottles did he have?
Did he poo today lol ?
Was he happy or sad?
I found a really cool Nanny Diary on the internet (there are lots) which I print out and bind a book of pages each month. It saves me from asking the Nanny 100 questions every evening. If your Baby is at a Creche or Daycare, it’s also something which you could ask them to complete.
Regardless of where your Baby will be staying during the day, you should ensure that the environment is secured and child-proofed.
Whether it’s a Daycare facility or a family member’s home, you still need to make sure the home is secure and safe for your child.
Is the pool area enclosed?
Are all the electric sockets out of your child’s reach?
Are the blind cords out of reach?
Although things will be different than when you were home with your Baby, it’s best to still share that routine with the caregiver just to help them establish a pattern.
You should also try to work out a morning routine for the family, especially if you’re heading back to work after maternity leave. There’s an extra family member to get ready now!
Save yourself time in the morning by packing lunches and ironing clothes the night before, rather than throwing out all your clothes on the floor searching for that favourite black shirt, which you’re not even sure fits anymore (Yes, this is me on an odd morning)
5. Emergency details
Make sure you and your caregiver have each other contact numbers (and that both parties have airtime lol).
If you have a Nanny at home, ensure your telephone numbers are programmed to the home phone, her cell phone & also make sure that all the emergency numbers are somewhere in sight like on the refrigerator.
If your child is at a Daycare, make sure that they are prepared for emergencies. Ask them what their procedures are and don’t be scared to question them.
It’s not the easiest transition going back to work, in fact, it’s difficult. However, within a few weeks, everyone in the family will be accustomed to the new routine and you will have a new sense of normal. The time you do get to spend with your child will be even more special 🙂