Working Moms

First day back - how to survive

I hope this isn't asked too often here...

i go back to work on 5/16. LO is going to a day care center that I feel really good about.  But I'm already crying, grieving the time we've had while I've been on leave. 

I'm a nurse manager of a busy unit, and I know my first day back will be extremely busy getting caught up, so it will go fast. But what tips do you have to stay sane, not sob all day, and maintain productivity?  


Re: First day back - how to survive

  • Honestly, I did not cry once this whole week (first week back) but my MIL is watching LO so I do not have to worry like some mommas. I know DS is loved on and given full attention during the day. I was SO pouty last weekend thinking about leaving him but I found that I had really missed the structure and adult conversation. I still miss him every day and check in alot but just throwing yourself into work seems to be the way to go. It does not help that everyone asks how you are but after a few days, you are just one of the people at work again. LO was 6 weeks on Tuesday so that might have been it but it was kinda fussy this week. NOt sure if it was the change in routine or not. Just a heads up. :) Good luck!
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  • Will your first day back at work also be your LO's first day at the daycare center? I think the thing that helped the most was having DD go to daycare for a few days before I went back to work. Other than that, keeping busy helped. Sounds like you will be really busy so that will be a good thing. People did ask a lot about DD's daycare situation and seemed to feel bad that she was in a center and not at home with a grandma or an aunt. I just tried to stay/sound positive and not let anybody else bring me down and put me in a sad mood. I also didn't call daycare very often. Maybe once the first day and that was it. I know people who called multiple times a day for the first month or so their babies were in daycare and to me that would make the separation even worse. Good luck!

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  • I think there is kind of a natural grieving that happens the week before you go back. It's closing one chapter and moving to the next. The build up to going back was more emotional for me than my first week was though. And you have to know that next chapter is not worse! It's the first step of many to your child's independence. I think your first day will go really fast.

     

    I sobbed so much the week before and I actually didn't cry at all on the drive from daycare to work! And I'm a total leaky faucet! You will do great, and LO will too. 


  • In the days leading up to the return I began to think of all the things I enjoyed about working - coffee with co-workers, interesting cases, getting dressed up and getting out of the house. I took a little time to pamper myself - haircut, massage, new work clothes.

    I went back on a Thursday and worked from 8-12. Then on Friday I worked from 12-5. That was a nice, gentle transition - and the anticipation of going back was so much harder than the reality. There are days I don't want to leave him because he's so cute and fun. And then there are days he's fussy and grouchy, and it's a lot easier to leave the house!

    You'll do great. :)

  • I was sad when I first returned to work also, not depressed but jut a little sad. Kept thinking of how great the time was that we had spent together, how I was going to see him for only a few hours a day now, etc. That lasted a few weeks and I really started to enjoy the interactions at work again, the different challenges and having me time - as odd as that sounds. I think it is natural to grieve the end of one phase, as pp said, but what happens next will be good in a different way. 
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  • image JWSchwarz:
    I think there is kind of a natural grieving that happens the week before you go back. It's closing one chapter and moving to the next. The build up to going back was more emotional for me than my first week was though. And you have to know that next chapter is not worse! It's the first step of many to your child's independence. I think your first day will go really fast. nbsp;I sobbed so much the week before and I actually didn't cry at all on the drive from daycare to work! And I'm a total leaky faucet! You will do great, and LO will too.nbsp;


    This exactly. I went back to work three weeks ago and looking back I think it was dealing with one chapter closing and another one opening that made it the hardest. the anticipation was definitely much worse. What helped my first week was having my husband drop her off. If you can do that at least a couple times it helps. As other posters have mentioned it also helped to drop her off a couple times at daycare before I started work. I took her for half days the Wednesday and Friday before I went back and I used that time to shop for some new work clothes and run some errands. When I was staying home I couldn't wait for my husband to come home and give me a break. Now I practically run to my car and enjoy my evenings with her. I guess I've noticed that even though I am spending less time with her the time that I so spend with her is more focused on her. I also noticed almost immediately that she was learning from her time a daycare.

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  • I cried for about 20 minutes when I got to work- I'm a teacher and I went back in the beginning of the next school year, so it was a meetings day, not a day with kids.  Cried between meetings too. When. As busy, though, I was able to focus and be OK. Keep busy, and let yourself cry if you need to. 
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  • LIke PPs mentioned, the anticipation was worse than actually going back. And if people didn't keep asking, "Do you miss LO?!?!?" I would've been happier lol.

    The first few days go by in a sort of weird blur, then you get into a routine and things get good and it's just life, kwim? 

    I've had days that sucked and I wanted to just call/quit and stay home, and days when I can't wait to leave because LO is driving me bonkers and I just want to drink a cup of coffee in peace. 

    PPs suggestion of focusing on the positives - getting to eat lunch warm, pee in peace, adult conversation, money Wink, personal accomplishment/fulfillment, LO making friends at daycare, etc.

    Good luck, you'll do great, and LO will be well cared for!



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  • I think I remember you from about a year ago on TTGP. Belated congratulations. :)

     

    I agree with PPs - if it's possible to do a couple hours at daycare here-and-there before you go back full time, it helps. (It helped us). Helped her get used to new people, helped me not have a breakdown on the first real day, and helped her teachers get used to her needs. 

    Also, if it's possible (and you're breastfeeding), go nurse her during your lunch breaks. I go every day at lunch to nurse her and play with her for an hour or so - and it makes my days go by much faster. 

    Also, not sure your views on this, but we also co-sleep. I feel that it really helps us bond at night to make up for missed time during the day. Just a suggestion.

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  • image Booger+Bear:

    The first few days go by in a sort of weird blur, then you get into a routine and things get good and it's just life, kwim? 

    This. I cried for a week before returning to work. I wanted to go, but I still sobbed. Going back was like ripping off a bandaid, it hurt for a bit and then things returned to normal. Try to focus on the positive if you find yourself discouraged -- I actually had a list in my desk, "why I work." Sounds silly, but it did help. Good luck!

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  • Staying busy is the best thing.  The day does truly fly by and then it's time to go pick up your LO and that's that!  The first day, I sobbed when we dropped him off.  I called at lunch time to see how he was, and since he was fine, I just let it be.  Nothing beats baby smiles and hugs when you pick them up!  
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