Hey Mamma! You knew this day would come… the day you would entrust your little one to someone else so you can head back to work. It’s also the beginning of your next chapter, and where you can get a little normalcy! Don’t get me wrong, this day is going to be a mother. But, it won’t break you. You will get through this! If you’re feeling a little anxious (hello, who wouldn’t?!?), read on for my best advice on how to make dropping baby off after maternity leave as smooth as possible.
Drop Off Everything PRIOR to Day 1
Day 1 of leaving your baby in the care of someone else was always going to be a handful. But hopefully not literally! If possible, swing by in advance and drop off all of baby’s needs. Her diapers, wipes, extra clothes, pacifiers, sleep sac, etc., can all be provided to daycare a day or 2 early. Trust me, you don’t want a big bag of stuff in between you and your baby on the first day of daycare.
Baby’s First Day Should Not Be Your First Day
Call me selfish, but I advise all my new mom girlfriends to take a day or 2 for themselves prior to returning to work! Drop baby off on Monday or Tuesday and use these days to pamper yourself or run errands without having to carry a baby and a diaper bag. Bonus, you can linger at daycare all you want and won’t feel pressed to get to the office. You also won’t feel bad if you totally ruin your makeup from crying!
Start Your Day 1 on Any Day Other Than Monday
I’m serious, never start your first day back from maternity leave on a Monday. Get as close to Friday as you can. I’d advise starting on Wednesday at the earliest. This is going to be a hard week, both emotionally and physically. You may not be accustomed to the work wardrobe or walking through a large building all day and you’re likely to be totally worn out and possibly in serious need of a food rub because you wore those adorable pumps for the first time in weeks! Seriously, a short week means the weekend is so much closer! Put as little distance between you and a bingefest of cuddles and kisses!
Prepare 3+ Days of Bottles & Food In Advance
At our house, we have 25 bottles that we keep constantly prepped in the fridge. By the time I’m back to work from mat leave, our littles are usually down to 5 bottles a day, meaning we have a full 5 days of bottles ready to roll at all times. It may be an investment in the beginning, but you’re going to be in this bottle moment for at least a year, consider this an investment in your sanity.
Lay Out Baby’s Outfits for the Whole Week
Both you AND your baby need to have your outfits planned out. If your spouse will be assisting with dressing baby (which they should!) you can ensure that baby is always looking up to your standards by putting outfits together in advance. Don’t overthink this, while you’re folding laundry, fold the bottoms and the tops together in 1 set. Clothing for your little one will be one less thing to think about, and you can easy delegate this task with little prep work.
Write Down Baby’s Schedule
This may sound like an easy one, but it may be the first time you’ve needed to articulate how to care for your child, write it down so you know you’re clear about your expectations. You’ll feel more confident when you know your caregivers can properly attend to your little one.
Get Yourself a Treat
Today is not the day to be the first one at the office. Make a pit stop to grab your Caramel Macchiato or a Cheese Danish. You deserve a little spot of sunshine! You’ve birthed a baby, you’ve kept it alive, and you’re moving into the next chapter. Give yourself a treat for the awesome woman you are!
Have A Friend On Standby
After dropping off your tiny one, you may need a quick pep talk, in which case your mom/friend/husband should be ready to accept your call. This is not the time for the friend who stays home with her brood. You need someone who can either empathize with you or someone who will tell you how strong you are.
Check Your Expectations
You planned for Day 1 to be hard, maybe even Day 2. Ladies, I want you to know that dropping off baby might be the easiest thing you’ve ever done, or you may be rethinking the whole working mom thing by 10am. The spectrum of emotions is vast. Do yourself a favor, just let yourself feel whatever you’re feeling. This may change from hour to hour. Embrace it all, go home, cuddle with your little one, get a good night’s sleep, and do it again tomorrow. Now is not the time to have expectations about what this phase is supposed to look like. It will be what it will be.
You can do this Mamma! Look into your baby’s eyes and remind yourself of WHY you work, remind yourself that you’re going to slay today, tomorrow, and the next day, and you’re going to make every moment away from your kiddo a valuable one. Get it Bosslady!