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The Return to Work: Managing Life After Baby

28 Mar. 2018 Posted by aadams

Amber Meulendyke, Marketing and Public Relations Manager

This past October, my life forever changed: I became a mother.

I was fortunate to spend 12 wonderful weeks completely devoted to my baby girl. My days consisted of diapers, feedings, naps and repeat. However, just as 2018 rolled in, it was time to develop a new daily routine – life as a working parent.

Returning to work as a new mom is tough. Not only do you lose your 24/7 baby cuddles, but you must learn to let someone else manage the eat, play, sleep routine. (Not to mention the lack of sleep, or the production simply leaving the house in the morning becomes when you are a
new parent!)

While stress always exists, there are some ways to ease the transition:

Be conscious of ways to save time. Do what you can to prepare the night before: Lay out yours and baby’s clothes, get your work materials together, pack your lunches and set the coffee maker to auto-brew. Simplify dinnertime by planning meals in advance, or even take an hour on Sunday to meal prep for the week. Develop written lists of chores and responsibilities and divide them equally. Maintain a family calendar to keep everyone on the same page.

Focus on quality vs. quantity. Your relationship with baby depends more on the quality of your interactions than on the amount of time you spend together. Appreciate two relaxed hours spent playing with your child over a full day’s worth of tears and spit up. When you get home, avoid rushing immediately into chores; take a moment to talk and play with your baby.

Take care of yourself. Understand your limitations as a working parent so you can set realistic priorities. Ask your partner or family members for help when you need it. If circumstances feel overwhelming, don’t be afraid to access your EAP and seek professional help from a counselor who can help navigate this complex life adjustment.

Employers too can support employees that are new parents by offering:

  • A clean, private space for nursing mothers to pump during the work day. Consider equipping the room with a small fridge to store milk, or providing access to a sink.
  • Remote work options that offer flexibility for last-minute child care issues
    or appointments.
  • Work-Life benefits that include child care search and referral, saving new parents precious time otherwise spent researching reliable care options.
  • EAP resources that offer a confidential outlet for employees to manage the transition
    to parenthood.

Here at FEI, we understand the challenges associated with all of life’s transitions and offer resources for developing successful employees, parents and partners. If your business is interested in learning more about our customizable solutions to enhance organizational resilience, contact us today.

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