Getting back to work after maternity – a 5 point guide

The most joyous moment which you were waiting for has finally arrived. Your tiny bundle of joy is in your arms. As you hold her for the very first time cuddle, her feed her , time seems to stand still . O but that’s only for a fleeting second. Once you are out of the hospital , the rest of the days are a blurry sleep deprived, and energy draining days where you are either feeding the baby, trying to calm him down or bathing him, cleaning his potty or attending to some other need of his. All this time you are completely besotted by the little munchkin. 
Time flies by and it’s time to get back to work. It’s not easy, having spent so many months in a totally different set up and with your little one, the thought of being away for at least 10 hours a day is heart wrenching. And if you would be leaving the little one at a day care or with a maid the fear of his safety and well being will always be lurking in your mind. 
A few tips to wade through this phase and make the transition easier (some of it based on my personal experience which is still afresh and some based on those of moms I know) . Hope they make this a smooth  move
 1) Feeding when you are not present 24*7 with the baby. If you plan to go with exclusive breast feeding them it’s time to get used to pumping and get the baby used to having it from the bottle well in advance . If you intend to supplement with formula do give the baby enough time to get used to it. Many of us also start giving semi solids to the baby at around 3.5 to 4 months, make sure you give the baby enough  time to get adjusted to it. In my case as my little one had started on semi solids and seemed to develop the taste for it, it was not a hassle at all
.2) Who will take mummy’s place in the day? Of course no one can take your place but some one is required to care for your baby. If it’s a day care choose carefully and let the child get used to this new environment at least  for a few days before you join work. If it’s a maid or any other family member like your mom or MIL whom the baby is not very used to, again get the child accustomed to spending time with them, in fact in the same way as he would when you are away at work 
3) On the work front, take it easy at least till you settle down. It’s great to be an all rounder and you would be all charged up to prove your mettle and show that just because you are a Mommy , you have not lost your professional goals or efficiency. But the urge to do it all will take a toll, trust me. . Don’t hesitate to say NO if you think some work or a meeting will keep you at work longer and you want to get back home to be with your little one.Its perfectly ok to set a time limit beyond which you will not sit in office. Make the most of your day, Plan well and prioritise and above all communicate clearly and in a timely manner . Set the right expectations . You will be surprised to see that people are in fact in awe of you and they don’t think you are awful as you thought their reaction would be.
 4) You can also consider flexible work schedules like working from home for a couple of days in a week or for few hours a day, whatever works with you. As long as you have good infrastructure and good connectivity it should not be an issue at all. most organisations are very supportive of working moms and they realise the value that this diverse group beings to the workplace 
5) Stop the Mommy guilt from bogging you down. Just because you are not with your little one every minute, you miss those first steps, the first walk, it’s not the end, there are countless memories which you will create and they will be as special and wonderful. Your child may love his grandma much more than he loves you? But you are his mom and he should love you the most right? Well it’s always a special bond between a mother and child and that unique relation is just between the 2 of you. I was plagued by this guilt and jealousy for quite sometime as my daughter loves my mom more but I realised I would rather have her being taken care of with all the motherly love and affection and I m ok if she loves someone more rather than hand her over to someone or someplace where she’s miserable the whole day and looks forward to Mommy getting back from work, of course she would love me more but I would rather have a happy child than one who is miserable. Things would change as she grows and I am hopeful I can tell her someday why Mommy goes to office and she will truly understand it. Till then, well we are Mommy and bacha and this bond is special and it’s only between us.
 It’s definitely not a cake walk life has changed by leaps and bounds. Making the most of your professional life and giving quality time to your baby , balancing the both is like walking on a tightrope. Hang in there, things will settle down, it’s just the matter of time. So what’s your experience , do feel free to share your list of tips. Let’s lend that helping hand to our comrades out there , we have now graduated to being working moms from working women, it’s quite a big promotion isn’t it ?

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