Returning to the Workplace
Nobody can take care of your children like you can, right?
Hey there! You’re listening to the Mighty Mommy with some Quick and Dirty Tips for Practical Parenting.
If you follow me on Twitter, and I hope you do, you may already know that I’ve recently returned to the workplace. I’ve been working from home since my daughter was 11 months old. She’s six now and going to school full time. With her in school and my son in pre-school, the opportunity for me to return to the workplace was a very challenging prospect. Although I’ve been back in an office atmosphere for almost two months, I’m still adjusting; as are my children. I’ve come up with a few methods to help make the transition easier on everyone involved. Whether you work at home, outside the home, or are making changes to your schedule, and depending on your schedule, some of these ideas might work for you as well.
Letting Someone Else Help
The first thing you’ll probably be thinking about when it comes to working full-time is who will be taking care of your children. Nobody can take care of your children like you can, right? So, the first thing you’ll need to do is accept that fact. You should, however, feel good about the daycare your do choose. Whether you have a daycare provider, friend, or relative taking care of your children, make sure your caretaker is someone you trust who will follow your instructions and keep you informed of daily updates. If you are handling the care of the children by alternating schedules with your spouse, don’t forget to manage your time so that you will have some with one another as well.
Stay on Routine
The second thing I would like to talk about is your routine. Keeping the kids on a normal day-to-day routine will help make it easier for them to accept the big change of Mommy not being home all of a sudden. Most people don’t have the luxury of creating their own work schedule, but if you do, try to schedule your time effectively. For example, I chose to work weeknights so that I could maximize my time with my son who is home during day as well as my husband who is also home during the day. Since I don’t see my daughter as much as the boys in the house, I make special time for her on the weekends when I’m off work. It’s important to make time for everyone both together and one-on-one, especially when they are all used to having you around all of the time. You won’t be able to keep things exactly as they were before you started working, but try to stay as close as possible by arranging schedules and advising caretakers as to what needs to happen and when. This will help a great deal in allowing your kids to adjust.
Another important thing you can do to help everyone to function better while the mommy of the house is away for 8 or 9 hours at a time is to check in when possible or at a regular time daily. I call my children on my first break every night to tell them I love them and wish them sweet dreams. It lets them know I’m thinking about them and allows me the chance to say good night. I think this is important for all of us. I miss them just as much, if not more, than they miss me. And, of course, I always sneak in their rooms at night when I get home and kiss their precious little foreheads. If you are at work while your kids are at school, give them a call when you know they are home or with their daycare provider. If they will be staying with someone else after school, let them know that you’ll be calling daily to check in with the kids so that they will be available when you call.
Don’t Stress the Mess
Finally, remember to keep your sanity while you feel as though your house may be falling apart around you. Oh, wait! Maybe that was only happening to me. I say “was” because I’ve been blessed with some outside help because I’m lucky enough to have the best mother-in-law I could have ever dreamed of, but not everyone is this lucky. If you can get help or if someone offers, accept graciously! I know. It’s hard to say, “I can’t do this all by myself.” You need to be realistic though. Sometimes, things just won’t get done the way you want or as quickly as you want. Learn to accept that things may be imperfect. When you have free time, don’t spend all of it cleaning the house or folding the laundry. Take the time to hold and love your kids. When they grow up, they aren’t going to remember if the floor didn’t get mopped for a month, but they will remember and cherish the love, hugs, kisses, and precious time you spent with them. You are working hard. Make it worth it.
That’s it for now. Thanks for reading.
If you’d like to request a topic for the Mighty Mommy you can e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is your friend the Mighty Mommy wishing you happy and fun parenting!