Wednesday, November 6, 2013
back to work + making it work
It's been more than three weeks since I returned to work. I certainly don't have things figured out and I am going with "one day at a time" mantra, but I'd say it's going fairly well. I am so thankful for Maggie's good nature.
I wanted to share three things that seem to have helped the transition of my being gone for 9 hours a day four days per week. I am so grateful and realize these options may not be available to a lot of working moms, but I believe they have only helped Maggie's time away from me.
For the my first two months back at work, I am working four day work weeks. I read about this suggestion in a breastfeeding book that claimed taking Wednesdays off could not only boost your milk supply but lessen the baby's anxiety about being away from you. I approached my boss about the possibility, focusing on wanting to ease into being away from Maggie (rather than talking about my milk supply...that would be awkward!). He was very supportive and allowed me to take vacation time, rather than working longer days Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
We are also grateful to have not only an in-home caretaker, but a family member watching Maggie. This isn't something I was certain would work out and it's only for a few months, but I am so thankful to have my mother-in-law watching my girl while I am at work, especially since we live several states away from our families. Having Maggie in her own home is also aiding the transition and keeping her cortisol levels low, which can be important to an infant. This is not a long-term solution, but I am excited she'll be at least six months old before she enters a more conventional daycare situation.
It's also very important to me that Maggie continue to be breastfed. It has not been easy (I need to write a whole other post about our breastfeeding journey), but I am committed to making bottle feeding work while I am away from her. This has been the biggest challenge of being away from Maggie. Pumping at work is a drag, but necessary. Maggie never struggled to take the bottle and sometimes seems to prefer it. We had to find a way to feed her more slowly so that she would not reject breastfeeding when I'm with her.
As I said before, I am aware our situation is unique and would not have believed it would work out this way a year ago when I learned I was pregnant. I am so grateful for my job and have built a meaningful career I am not ready to part from. I will continue to take it one day at a time, considering what will work for me and Maggie in each season of life.
Do you have any tips for a working mama?
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