Cant believe the time has come and now past since I returned to work! A moment I thought I would dread after Parker was born. However, now that its here and I've been back for 2 weeks, I couldn't be happier. To be honest, I love the fast-paced nature of my day, the learning that I garner in my job and the adult interaction has made me feel more like "me" than before.
Now, this isn't to say I don't miss my little P every single second of the day, I do! I'm like a little child getting candy when I head home. I borderline embark into a light jog to get home faster and above that, a cherish every single second in the morning. The best part of it, it makes me appreciate our time more together than ever. There are no cell phones around when its our time, I am 100% focused on him until his eyes close to sleep.
We're super lucky to be able to not only have a nanny, but to have an AMAZING one. We're so grateful for her and her bond with P is sincerely heart warming. We did a nearly 2 month integration before I went back to work and this helped prepare me in more ways than I thought.
The first week, Parker definitely noticed that I was gone. For about a week or 2 he wouldn't go down as easily, he wanted some extra cuddle time which I totally gave him. Maybe that was risky in starting a bad habit, but surprisingly, after 2 weeks he got it and is now back on track! Either way, he is as smiley as ever when we get home and happy when Michelle walks through the door, these 2 facts are incredibly important.
Without further a due, here is how we attempt to make it all work.
- Plan your Pumping - its the law for companies to offer an area for women to pump at work here in the US. Ask your HR department before returning so you aren't figuring it out the first day. Ask where and whether there is a fridge. Super important.
- Bring your pump - I started out with this bag however carrying it with the pump, my work laptop and the milk became too heavy. Instead, I bit the bullet and bought a 2nd pump to leave at work - GAME CHANGER. My thoughts were that I was doing this for 6 months and somewhere down the road, there'll be another little baby.
- Book Time - block off time in your calendar. Don't assume you'll make time. This helps make sure you're not too last minute and/or go too late before pumping. Also, no one wants milk dripping on their laptops at work ;)
- Transparency - I think telling your boss and team is the best thing to do. This way, everyone knows that you'll be away from your desk 2x a day for something. Additionally it sets the expectations that its a priority. I was back to back all day once and I simply had to leave a meeting. My boss knew why and it was totally fine.
- Prep in advance - I always have my bottles attached to the pump parts so that I can walk in, un button my blouse and pump. once I put the milk in a bag, I re-attach the bottles again!
- Plan 2 weeks in Advance with Hubby - Vince and I sat down and went through our calendars 2 weeks at a time, day by day, to ensure we are organized. Some days I need to leave before 8:30 (which is when our nanny arrives) and other days he cant get home by 6 (when our nanny leaves) So we now know 2 weeks in advance who is on duty at what time! It totally helped.
- Ask for Pictures - not sure what its like at day care, but we ask our nanny to send pics and she's amazing at doing it. She sends me 2-3 pictures a day and I LOVE IT! Makes me feel like I am right there with him. All pictures in this post come from Michelle! Hubby and I call it the "Pweet" a Parker Tweet.
- LEAVE! Set the precedence the first day and be firm. Of course there will be some weeks that are crazy and thats not a problem, those are exceptions. I have noticed I am WAY more efficient at work more than ever, so when it comes to 5:30/6 I feel good about heading out. I am not perfect though, sometimes I log on later but at least I stick to my departure time consistently, this way, everyone knows thats my cut off
Now, above all else, do whats right for you and the family. Working makes me happy and I have noticed that personally, I am a better mother for it. Whats important for us is that Parker is happy and that mom and dad are happy - today, seems we are headed in the right direction!
Happy work'in or momm'in - both are incredible!