I have been a stay home mom for almost all of my motherhood tenure, so when I had to resume work full time ( wait, motherhood itself is a full time job), oops, I mean to say when I had to get back to longer hours of office work, I kept wondering how. There were trials and more trials of what I will do and how I will do those things. I looked for solutions on social media, found some very handy tips and also got covered in sh** load of mom guilt for leaving my kid away for longer hours. Everything said and done, I came up with my own ways of how, moms can make getting back to work easy for themselves and their kids.
Self-Play – The time when your kid realises that he has two more companions to play with, his mom and dad is definitely a proud moment. This discovery soon turns into your child expecting you to be available at his/her beck and call! So, to equally enjoy playing with your child, you need to encourage him/her to indulge in self-play. You introduce the toys, games etc, and then eventually give you child time to play on their own.
Schedule – This list is not in a particular order however your schedule has to be in order, if you are deciding to be away for longer hours from your baby. Now, maybe a few minutes here and there will work, however you need to ensure that right from waking up, to bathing, eating, naps, everything has to have a schedule. It will make things easier for you and your baby. Both of you will be happy to have things going as per schedule and even after getting back from work, you will be able to make time for the both of you.
Help, Help – It takes a village to raise a child, doesn’t it. Well then, now is your time to make your jungle call to your herd. Yes, it has to be a call for help, just the way they do in the jungle. You will not be able to pull this off alone, hence it’s time for a little family meeting. You need to discuss in detail your nature of work, working hours with your immediate family or at least the people who will take care of your baby in your absence. Explain to them your baby’s schedule.
More Help – After family taking over few of your duties, its time to fix household help, so that family members are free to attend to your baby. Ensure that your list of instructions are details for everyone. Hire a help at least a month or two in advance and get them to get used to your style of working. From baby’s meals, to clothes, to hygiene, everything needs to be in detail. I usually leave notes on the post-its and put them on the fridge or wherever they are visible.
Prep in advance – It’s good to prep for meals in advance, prep for classes in advance and keep everyone informed. It helps you keep a track of things too.
Cameras – Oh, how we love the paparazzi being a blogger. So, let these cameras and different security system help you be aware of what’s happening in the house. You also need to be cautious to not checking these cameras every now and then as it can add to your initial anxiety.
Communication – The secret to everything lies in communication. I kept talking to my son about how mommy will be away for longer hours and how he will have people around to help him. I also drew comparisons from his school, his homework with my work. I got him to scribble and draw stuff so that I could take it with me to work. You have to slowly and gradually prepare your child for you to be away from them for a few hours. Lots of smiles, kisses, hugs and a few presents here and there always work. Also sharing things from your day with your kids helps develop a healthy bond with them and they are always willing to have open conversations.
You will have days full of fatigue, you will be anxious to know what’s happening back home, you will also make multiple phone calls to check on your kid. Well, all I would say is, it would pass!! Make the most of the time you get with them however take some time out for your own self. You may not be able to achieve the same deadlines on the home front and I guess that is absolutely ok. Your new phase, new journey needs more time and adjusting and it’s only fair for you to give it time. Getting back to new routine always will have its own set of challenges, just take it as it comes. With some planning, innovating and lots of communication, it would soon be a cake walk.