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For every woman, the decision whether or not to return to work after having a baby is extremely personal. Heading back to the office after kids isn’t always easy, but Breezy Mama has ten tips that can help. In fact, even if you are not heading back to work, some of this advice can help ease your morning routine in general.
1. Whatever you can do the night before, get it done. There is just something easier about prepping the night before when the stress of the rush to get everyone out the door on time isn’t hanging over your head. Have lunches made, backpacks ready and by the door and outfits picked out. Even having the shoes by the front door can eliminate the battle to hunt around the house to find them. The more preparation done before that sun rises, the more smoothly your day is likely to start.
2. Consider having a chart for your children. Even in the case of kids as young as 4, there are charts with magnets that they can move into the box once they have completed their morning task (such as getting dressed, brushing their teeth, etc.) that can get them excited to accomplish each one.
3. Grocery shop on the weekends. Having your food stocked and prepped for the week can eliminate last minute grocery store stops that can then make your nighttime prep (a.k.a. tip #1) all the more exhausting. Better yet, if you have a care giver (i.e. a nanny) for your children, have them do the shopping for you. Believe it or not, this can actually save you money because they will stick to the list versus grabbing things you don’t actually need (ahem).
4. When cooking, make large enough portions to save for throughout the week. By doubling (or even tripling the recipe), not only can you save time for another night by having to only re-heat dinner, you also might have enough to use in the lunches. Also, remember, the crockpot can be your friend, allowing a warm meal ready for you to enjoy at the end of your day.
5. Remember: you can always make a new plan. Sure, you have the daycare/sitter in place, your plans to work full time and are feeling ready to go, when suddenly you realize something just isn’t right. Everything might not happen exactly how you have it in your head, so know that if you aren’t happy with certain choices, you can adjust them accordingly.
6. Be as organized as possible. In some ways, home is your second career and as much prep you can do for that “job”, the easier the transition back will be.
7. Have your care provider keep a daily log, updating you on what your child did that day, any milestones (first steps? first word?) and even what they ate. Being able to talk with your child about their day is a great way to bond at the end of it.
8. Be present after work. Sure it can be hard to switch hats from the boardroom to the play mat, but aim to give your child 15 minutes of undivided attention at the end of the day, letting them know you are just as anxious to see them as they are to see you.
9. Talk your child through the plan. Even for very young children, letting them know the plan for the next day can help deepen your relationship and ease their transition as well as yours. Knowing what’s going to happen each day can also help reduce the anxiety of mommy being gone.
10. Consider asking for flexibility. More and more employers are open to allowing staff to work from home, even if only 1 or 2 days a week. And some are willing to arrange flexible hours as well. Of course a site I work for, FlexJobs, is also a great place to find the jobs (and the employers!) who allow for better work/life balance.
BONUS! Watch the video below for this discussion on tips for moms for easing the transition back to work from Breezy Mama’s appearance on Fox 5 San Diego yesterday. PLUS! Get tips on how your kids can help with the devastation in the Philippines after Super Typhoon Haiyan.
Unable to play video? You may need to download or upgrade Adobe Flash Player– or watch it here: http://video.fox5sandiego.com/Ask-the-Moms-25371039
(Psst… and for details on how to enter for the Kindle Fire HD click here!)