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.

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

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?”

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

Don’t Call Me, I’ll Call You – Checking In with Work While You’re On Leave

You’re not alone if you’re thinking that being away from the office during your maternity leave will impact your job.  Quite a few women are so closely tied with their work that they can’t imagine being out of the hustle and bustle while they are home with their newborns.  Thinking that they’ll be able to juggle it all they sometimes commit to a lot more contact with work than they end up wanting.

That said, it’s a good idea to keep expectations low regarding how you’ll be checking in with the office.  Don’t make commitments about calling in every day or answering emails because you just don’t know how life will be until after the baby arrives.  Make sure that your level of communication doesn’t hook you into working on projects, working directly with clients or promising to deliver the results at the annual shareholder meeting. 

Read moreDon’t Call Me, I’ll Call You – Checking In with Work While You’re On Leave

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.

Read moreDaycare Drama

What To Do While You’re Home on Maternity Leave

Rumor is that this was painted by DaVinci while Madona was home on maternity leave from her corporate job.

Here’s what I thought I’d be doing while I was home with the baby during maternity leave:

  • I’d be nursing in a white flowing gown with soft light shining down  and songbirds singing in the background
  • I’d pack up the baby and we’d head out for the mall to get in a good walk and some window shopping
  • Lunching with stay at home friends who I thought must be the luckiest women in the world
  • Creating a masterpiece of a scrapbook that would be the envy of all
  • Exercising during the baby’s nap in order to get back in shape after gaining 50 lbs

    Read moreWhat To Do While You’re Home on Maternity Leave

Maternity Leave Questions for HR

I thought this was a helpful write up on questions to ask HR about your company’s policy on Maternity Leave.  Thanks workitmom.com!

http://www.workitmom.com/checklists/detail/2984/20-questions-to-ask-your-human-resources-department-before-going-on-maternity-leave

There are tons of other questions and expectations you’ll want to set with your manager regarding your leave so I’ll be posting more on boss basics soon.

Any other questions that you’d add to the HR list?

Don’t Ask, Do Tell – When to let them know you’re expecting

When should you let your employer know that you have a baby on the way?  I’m sure there are varying opinions but in general I’d say the sooner the better.  Here are some reasons why:

  1. If you were the boss, you’d like to know.  Let’s put their shoe on your ever expanding maternity foot.  Fast forward one year and you’ve fallen in love with your nanny/child care provider.  They’re dependable, they do an excellent job and they’d be super hard to replace.  Then one day they show up and tell you that they’re taking the next three months off and you’re required to hold their job for them while they’re gone.  Huh?!?  You’d freak out!  You don’t have a back up because they’re the only one you want and you didn’t have time to make a plan.

    Read moreDon’t Ask, Do Tell – When to let them know you’re expecting