First Business Trip Away from Baby – A Tale from the Road

Before having a baby, I must admit that I liked traveling for work.  I got to stay in nice hotels, eat in fancy restaurants, ride in town cars like a celebrity and could stay up as late as I wanted.  My husband and I both traveled from time to time and we both enjoyed the change of scenery while we were away from home.  I even took a trip when I was big and pregnant and felt no shame in using both the spa facilities and the pillow concierge at The Benjamin when I was in New York.  (They really do have a pillow concierge – here’s their pillow menu http://www.thebenjamin.com/PillowMenu.aspx)

But then, here comes this bundle of perfection who is dependent on me for his every need.  Not only has it been difficult leaving him for the day while I’m at work but I can only imagine it will be torture to be almost 1000 miles away!  Going cold turkey would have been unbearable so I am so glad that my husband and I had already traveled without little one.  We are blessed to have grandparents within driving distance who are retired and can keep him for extended periods.  We had been to Hawaii when our son was 12 months old so surely leaving him again for just a few days wouldn’t be a problem?!? WRONG!

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First Day Back to Work – Tips to Reduce How Much It Will Suck – Part 2

I’m sure you were on pins and needles thinking “When is she going to post Part 2?”  Wait for it…. Ok, now.

Let’s pick up where we left off in Part 1.  Read it here http://is.gd/gwXGL1

Thank heavens for smart phones.   I’d recommend that you consolidate your work and home calendars if possible.   Seeing it all on your phone just makes things that much easier.  My husband and I even share one family calendar that we can both see and update through our family Yahoo! e-mail.  Merge your contacts too.  Merging contacts and calendars on your smart phone may be a little tricky if it’s paid for by your company and is really their property, not yours so check that out first.

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First Day Back to Work – Tips to Reduce How Much It Will Suck – Part 1

Here’s another two-parter.  I’m trying to keep these short because as a mom, you probably have very limited time to read AND if you’re like me, you have the attention span of a gnat.

I’m not going to lie to you.  Your first day back to work from maternity leave is not going to be a super awesome experience.  However, you have to bite the bullet and go back at some point so what can you do to make it a little less horrible?

  1. Try it out first.  Hopefully you’ve already got child care set up.  It’s a good idea to have your child ease into it by beginning them to their caregiver a few days before your leave ends.  Most kids will not be so happy that you’re leaving them there.  If you talk to any caregiver they’ll tell you – your baby will eventually stop crying and you lingering around and prolonging the drama doesn’t help much.  You’ll feel like a jerk either way so just leave!  If you do a trial run, you’ll get some of this emotion out before you have to show up to the office.  Also, having your child at childcare for a few hours will help you get ready for work:  get a haircut, shop whatever clothes you need, etc.  Let me remind you once again… first time leaving the baby will stink, but, I’ve yet to hear my son say to me, “Mom, remember when I was a baby and you ruined my life by leaving me with a really nice lady and a bunch of fun baby friends?”

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Daycare Drama

Luckily for us my back-to-work childcare situation was a breeze.   For the first 8 weeks back, he stayed right across from my office building in an amazing company-run childcare center.  Even though he was just a blob of a 3 month old, he did arts and crafts and had story time.  They were wonderful!

Then, he went on to stay with a mom from church, her son and our friends’ little girl.  It was so cozy and loving.  We had to transition to a new arrangement and from heaven dropped in my sister who was wonderful with our son and I could never thank her enough for the care she gave to him.  So, with childcare we went from great, greater to greatest!  We were living the parenting dream!

It’s inevitable that you wake up from dreams (or you don’t and that’s not a good thing either) and reality kicks in.  Mine was the first day my son was in “daycare”.  I say “daycare” because for parents there are subtle ways we communicate how good of parents we are by the way we describe where they are while we’re at work.   Nannies and sitters mean you fork over the money for them to stay at home.  The higher echelons of parenting send their kids to Montessori or an academy.  There’s mothers’ day out and nursery.  When your kid is a toddler they can go to pre-school.  But, you rarely see a parent standing up and saying with pride “I dropped off my kid at DAYCARE this morning!”  I don’t know what it is but it just feels icky.

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