returning to work, back to work, maternity leave, day nurseries

How To Get You (And Your Baby) Through That First Day Back At Work – 7th Jan 2016

Going back to work is tough. It’s bad enough for those who have been out on a two week holiday, but when you’ve been off for six months or more, and had your life turned upside down by the arrival of a new baby, getting back into the spirit of work can be somewhat of a shock to the system.

Going Back To Work Ideas

To make your first day back just a little bit easier, we’ve come up with some brilliant tips just for you. Put the kettle on, take a seat, and find out just how you and your baby can enjoy your first day back to work just a little bit more.

Be prepared

Whether your baby sleeps through the night (lucky you) or wakes once an hour, chances are you’re going to feel like death warmed up when the alarm goes off at six. Give yourself a break by laying out all your clothes (and theirs) the night before, including underwear, shoes and bags.

Have a bath the night before

Sure, you used to shower in the morning before work, but things have changed a lot since then. Don’t expect to have time to shower, dry hair, do make up and take care of your baby before it’s time to leave. Shower or bath and wash your hair the night before, ready to style in the morning.

Pack your bag

No doubt you’re used to throwing your work gubbins into a bag, but are you sure you’ve got everything you’ll now need? Do you have the childminder or nursery number? What about a sterilised breast pump kit if you plan to express at work? Rethink your strategy for your new lifestyle, and make sure the essentials are packed the night before.

Pack their bag

Think how many nappies your baby usually gets through in a day, then double it. That’s about how many you should put in their bag for childcare on your first day back. Put in a change of clothes, maybe two if you don’t fancy picking them up in someone else’s forgotten trousers. Sort out their snacks and lunch, if your nursery doesn’t do this for you, and have them ready in the fridge to grab when you leave the house.

Breakfast baby in their nightwear

Seriously, don’t even think about getting your baby dressed until the messy part is over with. Let them splash their porridge all over their nightwear, and get them cleaned down and dressed once the hazard has passed.

Get them ready first

You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can throw on your workwear when there are no distractions. Get baby completely dressed and sitting in their car seat or buggy first, then nip up and dress once everything else is done. You’ll be happier on your first day if you don’t show up with baby sick on your blouse.

Leave early

Don’t cause yourself unnecessary stress by rushing around. Leave early enough to allow for traffic, poop disasters and a chat with nursery staff. Be relaxed, take your time and allow yourself the space to be a little emotional when you leave your baby for the first time. It’s all perfectly normal!

Arrive relaxed

Before you head up to the office, take a few deep breaths, listen to a chilled out song in the car or MP3 player, and fill yourself with positive thoughts about your first day back. Yes, it might take time to get back into the swing of things, and there will be times when juggling families, childcare and work seem impossible, but with the right support around you it can work!

nursery parent pack

Ignore the emails

Despite your firm ‘out of office’, you’ll undoubtedly have at least a million emails waiting to be read. Close your Outlook and make yourself a coffee. Ask your line manager what you should be focussing on now you’re back. The emails will still be there later, so focus on doing something productive for the first part of the day to get your confidence back to where it was.

Call the nursery

You’re worried. Your baby must be crying their heart out without you, right? Stop panicking and just call the nursery. They’ll be more than happy to give you an update, and when you hear your little one has spent the morning covered in paint and playing with the bricks, you’ll feel so much happier about your day.

Schedule lunch

Forget a sandwich. Today is a special day so arrange to take lunch with someone at work who you’ve missed, and enjoy a good old catch up. If there isn’t anyone there you’re particularly attached to, simply pop out to a café and enjoy a little bit of ‘me’ time.

Make going home easy

If you can, pre-prepare a nice dinner for you and your baby for when you get home. You’re both going to be tired and grumpy by then, so do what you can the day before to take the stress out of your evening. Don’t give yourself major jobs to do if you can avoid it, like grocery shopping or laundry. Give yourself and your baby a big pat on the back for making it through, and look forward to doing it all over again tomorrow!

Going back to work can seem like a tough call after such a long time away, but you needn’t be too worried. Thousands of other mums get through this every day, and you will too. Your baby will have a blast at their childcare provider, and you’ll be glad to re-discover the old you again.

If you have any tips you can add for making the first day back that much easier, please comment below.

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