I have been back at work for two weeks now. During that time my daughter has mastered walking, learned how to drive, and graduated from high school. Well, maybe not the last two. But that is how it feels. I feel like time has gone very quickly these past two weeks, and I do feel like I have missed some moments with being back at work. Thankfully my hubby is great about taking photos or video clips for me so that I can see those moments. I do know that there have been, and will be lots of moments which I get to experience with her that my husband misses out on.
Returning to work I had a lot of mixed emotions. I was both looking forward to being back, but dreading it all at the same time. I was such a jumble of feelings. I was warmly welcomed back by staff and students. It was nice to be back. I realized I am blessed to work at a great school. Being away from my husband and our daughter during the day has brought about so much more love and appreciation for them.
Maybe the separation in the day was kind of needed? When I come home from work I am welcomed with hugs and kisses from my hubby, and huge smiles and hugs from my daughter. Apparently, during the day my daughter is often saying “Mamma, mamma, mamma” asking for me. She is such a Daddy’s girl, this reminded me that I too have a special place in her heart.
I did a couple things to try and make the transition back to work a bit easier on myself.
1) Lots of rest. I tried to go to bed earlier because I knew I would be getting up much earlier than I had been throughout the year of maternity leave. My own sleep schedule change was needed.
2) Figured out child care. We had this figured out pretty early. My husband thankfully has a relatively flexible work schedule. He has been able to get scheduled for shifts that allow him to work at home. This way I go to work, and he is home with our daughter. I get back home, he starts work, and I am with our daughter… but we are both present in the house in the evening. If this was not possible, we would have been under much more stress trying to figure something out.
3) Soak up those cuddles. I also made sure to get in as a much cuddle time as possible. It seemed like my daughter sensed a change was coming too as she became much more lovie-dovie. I gladly welcomed the cuddles and kisses. Yes, I even broke the rule of putting my daughter to bed awake. We had many moments of her falling asleep in my arms while I rocked her to sleep.
4) Family time. We planned a lot of family oriented activities, and dedicated a lot of our day to just being together as a family of 3. We even went away on one last mini-vacation. This helped me feel a bit better about going back to work. We made the most of the time I had left, and crammed a lot into the last two weeks.
5) Return date. I actually thought I had to go back to work earlier than I needed to. Thankfully I got a call from HR letting me know my return date, it was a pleasant surprise to get a bit more time with my little family. Thanks to my due date, I ended up going off on maternity leave just before Christmas vacation. This made returning to work a lot easier on me knowing that I only had to work two weeks, then it was Christmas vacation. It was a great way to get back into the swing of things, and sort things out. I had a few people say that they planned their returns to work in the middle of the week so that it was the same idea, work a few days and then it was the weekend. Just makes it that little bit easier.
Did you return back to work after having your little one(s)? What was it like going back?