I am now within my last two weeks of leave and although I am eager to get back to business as usual, I am dreading being away from the little one for more than an hour at a time. Thus far, I have only been away from him for not even an entire hour as I have gone on a short run. This may be the most difficult part of going back to work.
Will you return full-time or part-time? Would your employer allow you to work remotely? Perhaps taking on a part-time schedule or working remotely may be best as you now as well have role of mommy to consider.
Joseph and I are fortunate that are employers permit us to work remotely with scheduling. We are planning to set a strict schedule of working at home and will split the week between the two of when each of us needs to be out attending client meetings, events, etc. We will see how this goes over the next month and take it from there.
Do you want to leave your baby in someone else’s care? If so, who will that caretaker be? We live on the east coast without nearby family and I definitely do not want to leave the little one in just anyone’s care. Thankfully, Joseph and I can make our schedules relatively flexible to ensure that at least one of us is home with the little one to feed, change and care for during the work day. However, I know that having a flexible work schedule is not made available to many and planning ahead as to whether you even want to leave your little one in another’s care and who that person would be could ultimately be the most critical question of returning to work or not.
If you breastfeed, does your place of work have a place where you can comfortably pump? Luckily, I only go to the office once a week, however provided that we breastfeed, I have been thinking about where I would comfortably pump. My car would not be an option, as I take the train into the office. Another thing to consider if you plan to pump at work, is whether your pump is portable and how you will carry your pump and pumped milk with you to and from the office, as well as where you will store your milk during the day. It isn’t as if you can go place your pumped milk in the company’s shared refrigerator.
If you suspect you won’t be able to stay at home or work full time, think about creative solutions that will let you keep a foot grounded in both worlds. Depending on your skills and experience, there are many possibilities for constructing a workable arrangement. Joseph and I have already began considering a nanny that would come and stay with us while we work from home, so that we can concentrate of work while little one’s diapers are change and he is fed. Just remember, nothing’s perfect. There will almost certainly be bumps in the road, but with time, I am confident that you will find a workable solution.