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Reem Akkad

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How I Survived Returning to Work

Posted: 01/30/2012 10:22 am

It's been more than two weeks since I returned to work and I'm happy to say, my brain and my heart are faring much better.

Those who follow my blog know that there were moments in the first couple of days when I didn't think I would survive being both a mom and a career woman. There were lots of tears and lots of anxiety. I'm sure there will be some days that are tougher than others, but now I also know that I will make it through. For the moms that are preparing to return to work, here are few tips that helped me get through the first couple of weeks.

1) Make sure you have childcare you can trust. I miss my son every day but I don't worry because I know that he is in good hands with his nanny. I can handle missing his beautiful face but I cannot handle being away from him and worrying about his well being. In order to trust your childcare, if you can afford it, hire your nanny while you are still on maternity leave. You have enough to adjust to, the last thing you need is to deal with someone new in your life and your little one's life.

2) Talk to other mothers who work with you. Tell them about your concerns and your worries. They have been there and the fact that they are still working means they may have tips to help you through the tough days. Every mom I would see in the hallway, I would stop and talk to her. I found it very comforting to know there are many others going through exactly the same thing. Taking five minutes to talk about our children also helped me get through the days I missed him the most.

3) Talk to your spouse/partner. Chances are if you live in the U.S. your husband/partner had to return to work mere days after your baby was born. Daddy loves the baby as much as you do, and if he can adjust, so can you.

4) Stay in touch. I set up a Skype account for my son and everyday I call him and either his dad or nanny picks up. I work 11 hour days and taking 10 minutes, while I pump, out of the entire day to see my son makes all the difference. It also helps with my milk production. I know some parents who have a nanny cam that allows them to check in every once in a while as well. But I personally like being able to interact with him.

5) Know yourself. I have many friends who said to me they thought they could never be a stay-at-home mom until they actually went back to work. For me, going back to work confirmed that I am a better mom when I work. Instead of feeling exhausted, I feel refreshed when I see my baby. My time with him is so precious and I enjoy every second. But for some moms, being away only increases their anxiety. Be honest with yourself about what's best for you and your family. After all, if mom is not happy, no one is.

It's only been a couple of weeks for me but things are already dramatically better than they were the first day. Moms, do you have any tips on how you survived the return to work?

This post was originally posted on the blog Real Moms of OC and D.C.

 

Follow Reem Akkad on Twitter: www.twitter.com/reemakkad