Published on Mommy Tracked (http://www.mommytracked.com)

Return to the Workforce with Ease.

By Jennifer Farrell


Returning to work while you have an infant/toddler baby is most often described by moms as stressful, difficult, emotional and exhausting. How could it not be? Suddenly you're facing new challenges, having new experiences, taking on new responsibilities (above the already staggering ones you maintain as a parent). Returning to the work force is the time when you begin to formally assert your independence from the family unit, dole our responsibilities and give up some (but not all) of your control. Sound scary? It doesn't have to be. When you are prepared it can be exhilarating and exciting. Follow my plan for returning to work and you will slide back into the workforce with confidence and grace.


One Month before Returning to Work


Two weeks before Returning to Work


Meet with your employer outside the office. Bring your Mom Agenda and a good pen (I recommend the new Sharpie Pen [3], its fantastic!). Determine back to work specifics such as:

If re-entering the same company

Meet with your caregiver. Bring your child. This is an information gathering visit lasting about an hour.

The Week before Returning to Work


Armed with the information provided by your employers and caregiver, hammer out a schedule with responsibilities for you and your partner including:


Take the answers to these questions, assign responsibility, map it out on paper and stick it on the fridge or calendar. It doesn't matter where you put the routine as long as the family can see it every day for quick reference. Do a "dry run". Map your driving route. Remember that when you take this route in the morning, it will be during a high traffic timeframe. Brainstorm an alternate route using Google Maps. Spend half of your dry-run day with your daycare provider and your child.


Ensure you are at the daycare for when lunch is served and for nap time. Keep an open dialogue throughout the day posing questions as they come up, taking notes, and answering inquiries. Help your child become adjusted by introducing the other children (if possible) and spending time explaining to your child why you are there, what is going to happen and how they will be affected. If at all possible, leave your child after lunch for an hour to see how they adapt while you are gone.


Try not to feel guilty for speeding away to the mall with glee. Spend some time pampering yourself. Looking and feeling your best is going to give you the confidence you need to re-enter the workforce with panache. At your favorite store, find something new in your favorite color for the first week back. Enjoy the salon appointment you made a few weeks ago. Ask for a deep condition and a scalp massage. Feel your tension melt away. Check in with your employer to make sure nothing has changed in the weeks since you last met. This five minute courtesy call will be appreciated as it shows you are forward thinking about returning to work.

The Day before Returning to Work


The First Day at Work


Your first day back at work should be stress-free and enjoyable. Instead of nervous anxiety, you will be filled with excited anticipation. You have covered all your bases, made a plan with your partner and discussed the changes with your child. You are coiffed, styled, wearing your new clothes and armed with your Mom Agenda. You have dropped your child off with minimal tears (for both of you) and are confident that you are doing the right thing for your family. You have already done the hard work, now to reap the benefits!


Jennifer Farrell lives in Ottawa, Canada and is mom to a one year old boy. She is a freelance writer and a business development specialist in the information technology industry. She is an avid blogger on Tales from Our Crib [4], a Mom Logic Network Affiliate. She is the editor for Mommy Matter, a writer for Type-A Mom and contributes to Mommy Trackā€™d.

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