I think I cried for two weeks on and off before my first day back to work. The mere thought of leaving my baby for a full work day gave me extreme anxiety! I’ll never forget the last bedtime before my first day of work, talk about a river of heartbroken tears!!!!! It was SO hard but the light at the end is that it DOES get a little better as you adjust to your new normal, again. I am so thankful that I had the first three months to myself with Louie because I took advantage of every possible moment to form a strong bond with him. I would have preferred for it to be longer, but let’s not get started on how ridiculously heinous the maternity leave situation is here in the United States of America! I know we could all be here for days!@!&%$^!
So, here are some things that helped me survive that first day back to work:
• Surround yourself in the love of your support group–girlfriends, spouse, neighbor, family, whoever they are. They will be sure to cheer you on during this transition, especially if they’ve been through it too!
• Wear waterproof mascara. You may think of your baby often and randomly start to cry while reading your emails, but just a ::WARNING:: All of your extremely sweet, loving, caring, coworkers are going to ask about your baby and how your day is so far, etc. this might make you cry and then ironically help you become even stronger since you will have repeated it several times. Either way, aren’t you so lucky to have people care about you!
• Pictures and videos of your little one/s. Look at these often (because you know you have 46788 in your phone already). I still do this -every. single. day.- and now I smile instead of cry.
• A Calendar. Look forward to a long weekend, a spring break, or whatever holiday is near. Cross those days off for the countdown!! THIS helped me so much! I went back to work December 1st and one of the things that kept me going was to look forward to my 10 day Holiday Break.
• A box of tissues 🙂
• If you wish to pump, don’t forget to pack your pump bag! For those that may not be aware, “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” is a law that requires employers to provide you time and a quiet place for pumping. Click on the link to read more.
• Your favorite lunch and beverage
• Treat yourself: get yourself a cookie or your favorite Starbucks drink whatever it is that floats your boat! You did it!!!! You made it through the day and that makes you amazing and you totally deserve this!!!!!
The guilt will be there but be gentle with yourself. A very supportive friend once told me, “You are a working mom in order to give your baby all that he needs.” It was a sentiment that helped me (and continues to help me) get through rough days.
How did you survive your first day? Share your tips with us in the comments!