Just when you start getting the rhythm of this whole parenting thing: diaper, feed, snuggle, sleep; diaper, feed, snuggle, sleep… it’s time to go back to work.
Seriously, next week already? Suddenly, the end of your leave is tainted by worries about the logistical realities of working parenthood: Will my baby eat well enough without me? Can I make it to work on time? What if the baby gets sick?
And then there are the emotional realities. Even if you’re excited about getting back to work, the thought of leaving your little one for the first time might be making your eyes (and/or boobs) leak.
Now more than ever, you’ve got to be intentional about taking care of yourself so you can be at your best for both your baby and your career. And a big part of good self-care means setting things up so you don’t have to do everything yourself!
During those first weeks of transitioning back to work, ease your stress level by tapping into your support system and recruiting help for household chores, errands and meal prep. (For delicious, easy to prepare meals, we highly recommend Pick Your Dish.)
But be warned (and we bet you’ve already guessed this), your biggest challenge is likely to be SLEEP. Sleep deprivation is frequently painted as a parental rite of passage; something unpleasant but inescapable, particularly for moms. However, sleep deprivation isn’t something you have to suffer through. In fact, you shouldn’t.
Lack of sleep puts parents at a higher risk for postpartum depression and anxiety. Not to mention that it’s going to be pretty hard to wow them at work if you’re seriously sleep deprived. On the flip side, being well rested helps most people feel more confident in their parenting and just plain enjoy it more.
Declaring sleep a priority is one of the best decisions you can make.
But sleep is one of those areas where it gets tricky to call on your normal support system of friends and family. Your partner has to get up and go to work, too, right? And, yes, Aunt Susie loves you, but she probably won’t sacrifice a night’s sleep so you can be fresh for that big meeting.
But fear not! This is where postpartum doulas come to the rescue!
During the day, your doula can help with all those other important tasks Aunt Susie didn’t get to. She can wash your pump supplies, take out the dirty diapers, and sweep up. Now, you can soak up precious moments with your baby and feel ready to tackle the working world again. Maybe best of all, you have someone close at hand who can answer your postpartum questions and empathize with any and all concerns you have about going back to work.
Here’s what Vanessa, a Portland-area working-mom, had to say about working with a Birthing Stone postpartum doula:
“They helped my transition back to a demanding professional job go smoothly. It felt so good to know my baby was with someone that I trust. I was able to go to work refreshed as the result of their overnight care. They helped wash all my pump parts and prep bottles for daycare while I got to have snuggles with my older child. I had breakfast and coffee waiting for me in the morning and a well rested and happy baby. They supported healthy sleep habits for my baby as well. If you are struggling with the transition back to work, I highly recommend them.”
Whether you were already looking for a Portland-based postpartum doula or the awesome possibilities of this kind of help are just dawning on you, we’re happy to chat with you and help plan your back-to-work strategy. With a little help, you’ll have this whole working-parent rhythm down pat in no time.