Headed back to work after maternity or parenting leave? Helpful transition tips for you and your child
“The first day was the hardest,” says Sarah Kirmani, who returned to work when her daughter Alina, was a year old. “Alina was upset when I dropped her off and I was missing her at work; luckily my co-workers were very understanding,” says Kirmani. “It does get better though; my advice is to take it one day at a time.”
Your return to work is a big transition. Your baby is adjusting to a new caregiver and a new environment. You are suddenly juggling the demands of work and a household alongside a baby who has changed your life over the past year. As if that wasn’t enough to exhaust you, chances are your baby needs more attention at night, which means you’re short of sleep.
“It’s important for parents to recognize that there will be a period of adjustment,” says Liz Hatherell, a La Leche League leader and parent educator in Winnipeg. “And some days will be better than others. It can take several weeks to settle into a new routine.”
Kirmani began preparing for her return to work several weeks in advance by taking Alina for hour-long visits with her caregiver, and gradually increasing the time. “That helped both of us because we went through the exercise of saying goodbye, and had the experience of being apart from each other,” says Kirmani.
Continue reading for tips to help make the transition easier >