Transitioning to Work After Maternity Leave

I went back to work today. It’s weird, it feels like I had never left to begin with. Those 3 months that I had with Lil Bean absolutely flew by and I’m grateful for the time that I had to spend with him, though it is a little bittersweet to not be snuggling with him right now. I certainly enjoyed the lazy days I spent with him.

This was a super lazy day – pajamas and bathrobes all day!

Even though Caleb is having to go to daycare, I don’t worry because I know that he is going to a nurturing environment.

Here are some tips to help make the transition easier on the mom’s behalf when you return to work.

  • Find the right daycare. Robb and I toured two daycare facilities in our area. The first was a more modern daycare – everything was electronic and they put a lot of emphasis on education (teaching the babies sign language starting at 6 months – which is something that I plan on doing). We both fell in love with that daycare and almost canceled our appointment with the second daycare. Wanting to have something to compare the first one to, we went and toured the second daycare. It was the day before my c-section and I already wasn’t feeling my best. This daycare didn’t have the bells and whistles. They still communicated by sending a note home and they didn’t even take debit cards! But after we left, we knew that was the daycare for us. Sure, it was dated but it felt right. We both felt that taking our little one to that daycare was the equivalent of taking him to grandma’s house. It had that same comforting vibe that we wanted Caleb to have at this age. Fun fact: We found out that one of the caregivers is actually my granddad’s cousin!
  • Enjoy the quiet time. The time is takes for me to get from the daycare to my place of work is about 10 minutes. It’s nice to have that time all to myself. I can blast the radio, roll the windows down, or simply use that time to reflect on my life. Think of it as free time. Time that you don’t have to feel guilty about taking for yourself.
  • Ease into it. I took Caleb to daycare half a day on Monday and Tuesday before returning to work on today. That allowed me to run some errands with a little bit of me time thrown in. But more importantly, it allowed Caleb to start to recognize some of the daycare staff and gave me the confidence to know that he would be okay. Those 4 hours flew by. If you have the opportunity, try to take your child for part of the day before you go back to work full-time.
  • Get to know the staff. The staff at the daycare we chose are wonderful. They are so friendly and will talk your ear off if you let them. I’ve been hugged so many times by them. The staff have been there for over 20 years and love what they do. They understand how hard it can be to leave your baby and really make the effort to get to know the parents. To me, that speaks volumes. We aren’t just another payment to them, we are family.
  • Have a plan. Sure, there is always going to be upsets to your plan – a diaper blowout, alarm didn’t go off, etc., but try to have somewhat of an idea on how your morning is going to go. If your partner is home in the mornings, what can he do to help (i.e. Robb lets out the dogs and gets Caleb dressed for daycare while I dress for work)? What can you do in the evenings to help your mornings? I try to pick out my clothes the night before and ready Caleb’s bottles. What are you going to do for supper? I’ve really been working hard on get some sort of a meal plan in place and relying on my crock pot/pressure cooker.

The work day certainly seems to fly by though when I know I have my little one waiting for me!

Caleb’s first day of daycare – as well as his 3 month birthday!

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  1. Yen
    March 9, 2018 / 6:35 pm

    Great blog! Wished I had read it before I went back to work after baby.

  2. Ellen
    March 10, 2018 / 8:48 pm

    Good for you! These look like great tips. I’m thankful to be at home with my two boys, but I would definitely follow these tips if I went back to work!

  3. Candice Humble
    March 10, 2018 / 9:26 pm

    I had to go back to work after 8 weeks (ugh, USA maternity leave!). My daughter just turned 4 months. Routine and trust helps.

    • emielli
      March 23, 2018 / 8:27 am

      Tell me about it. Maternity leave in the US is just not enough. :-/

  4. Michelle
    March 11, 2018 / 11:42 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience! Do you have any advice for the future on guilt free date nights and when is a safe time to trust hiring a babysitter outside the family?

    • emielli
      March 23, 2018 / 8:31 am

      Absolutely! If you live in a neighborhood, I recommend trying to find a neighbor or a fellow parent that could come watch your little one for a bit. Someone that you’ve known for a while. I think that there will always be a little bit of guilt and worry when leaving your child with someone but start slow. Instead of going to dinner and a movie, try just going out to dinner for maybe an hour or so. Once your child is a little older, I would say when they are able to learn to entertain themselves some, then you can try for a longer time. It’ll give you a better piece of mind!

  5. Linda
    March 14, 2018 / 3:07 pm

    Easing into daycare is so important. Going back part time to start is the way to go.

    • emielli
      March 23, 2018 / 8:31 am

      Yes! I absolutely agree!