Returning to Work Anxiety

A week, that’s all I have left of maternity leave.  Next Friday will be my first day back in the office.  Josh is going to take the day off to be at home with Ella so I don’t have to go back to work and take her to daycare on the same day.  I’m freaking out.

I’m not freaking out like I’m going crazy or anything, but it’s stirring up all sorts of anxiety.  When I’m up with her at night I’m worried trying to figure out when in the morning I’ll get ready for work and leave.  Do I shower after her 4 am feeding, pump before work, get all the stuff she’ll need for daycare ready and leave that bottle for Josh to give her in the morning before he takes her to daycare?  Do I want to wait so that I can breastfeed her before I go to work?  If I do that then I’ll be coming home later, what’s better for her?  Me leaving earlier and coming home earlier or the opposite. 

Then there is daycare.  We picked a center that Josh’s coworkers kids go to and has the lowest baby to teacher ratio of any place in the city. They are also CPR certified and have a nurse practitioner. I know they are absolutely capable and she’ll be well taken care of, but what if she needs a little extra cuddling before her nap?  Will someone do that or are they going to let her cry?  How much milk do I need to send with her?  What milestones will I miss?

I know that moms have been going back to work forever and it was my decision not to be a stay-at-home mom, but I never thought that I would be struggling like this.  I’m sure it will be fine once we get into a routine but for now eek.  I’m just going to miss my baby.

Any advice for going back to work and easing my anxiety?

2 thoughts on “Returning to Work Anxiety

  1. Jess:
    Don’t be too hard on yourself! Everything you are feeling is normal. I would say that you should be a little bit flexible. The schedule you start with doesn’t have to be the one you keep forever. Maybe you could try it one way for one week and the other way the next week and see what works better.
    You and Josh are great parents and will give her plenty of extra snuggle time when she is at home. If it becomes too difficult for you to work then you and Josh can make other plans so you can stay home with her. Perhaps your work could give you a four day work week or 3 days in the office one day working from home and one day off. Most of all, give it a fair try and be flexible and understanding with yourself and everyone involved in caring for Ella.
    You are one of the most creative problem solvers I know so I am confident you will develop the best arrangement for you, Josh and Ella,

  2. Jess,

    I agree with your mom, be kind to yourself and trust that Ella knows you love her. I used to send a few pictures to daycare with the kids so they could see mommy and daddy and our pets, anything familiar. Of course, right now, she is very young. Send anything she loves, like a favorite blanket or toy to help her make the connection between home and daycare. I am a big advocate of good daycare. Kids learn wonderful socialization skills and I think they talk sooner and learn faster. As for naptime, I found that at Yasi’s daycare, they had a rocking chair in the nap room and they rocked her to sleep when she needed it. They tend to be very nurturing people, that is why they are working with babies and small children. Also keep in mind that a happy fulfilled Mommy makes for a happy baby. It is good for you to have some time apart where you are able to do something other than being mommy so that you can look forward to spending time in that role when you are home. Raising kids is a lot of trial and error. Try all the options and I am confident you will find the one that works best for all of you. Good luck!

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