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Going Back to Work

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I thought it would be nice to have a thread for those of us who have maternity leaves ending soon...

How are you feeling about going back to work?

What are you doing to prepare to go back to work?

Where will your baby be when you are working?

Let's support each other, working mamas!
post #2 of 16
Thread Starter 
OK, I'll start!

I am having mixed emotions about returning to work. I really do enjoy what I do most of the time (hospice social work), but I don't like the idea that I will miss most of the good parts of the day with my baby and will have to put him to bed shortly after I come home every day. I also don't like the idea of "someone else raising him". My friends have reassured me that there are a whole "village" of people who raise your kids even if you are a SAHM, but it's very bittersweet to be returning to work. I will enjoy the adult interaction, conversation and critical thinking time, but will miss seeing every little thing my little Ethan does...

To prepare to go back to work...I am taking a breast pumping and breast milk storage class next week, am working on getting into a regular routine with putting Ethan to bed when he is tired instead of when it's convenient for us (until last night, we had been having him just sleep in our arms when he was tired at night; now we're trying to put him to bed proper instead), and am working on training DH in some of the things he will need to make sure happen during his day with Ethan during his 10 weeks of leave.

That's the nice thing; DH will be home with Ethan the first 10 weeks after my return to work, which I think will help make things feel better than they would if he went right to day care. After those ten weeks, Ethan will go to an in home day care very close to our home for four days per week (I will be working part time - 3-4 days per week, depending on my agency's need for me). I like that it's close, but hate that he will be away from home 9-10 hours per day four days per week. Sigh.

Becoming a mother has been different than I expected. I didn't expect all the conflicting emotions! I know it continues...there is such joy and heartbreak in becoming a mother...!!
post #3 of 16
I am already back at work, but would like to join

I have the big advantage of being able to work from home, I go in 1-2 times a week and am able to bring my little on and my dh along. Both of us can work anywhere as long as there is a good internet connection and a computer.

I have tried going in once without my little guy and wanted to pump on that day. I was fine until I had to close the door and then started crying and dh and little guy came along. It is so hard to leave them alone.

I love being back at work, I love doing research, but my life is family or work right now, no time for any special things or hobbies. I just put in a 60hr week and took this morning off because I missed my little guy soooo much, although I was working from home and feeding him, I didn't play with him at all. But I guess those are the things I give up on, when I want to do both, and I love both.

Cellist, I think it is wonderful, that your dh gets a chance to take care of Ethan.

Originally Posted by Cellist View Post
Becoming a mother has been different than I expected. I didn't expect all the conflicting emotions! I know it continues...there is such joy and heartbreak in becoming a mother...!!
I agree. But I really love being a mom. I keep saying, there is less slacking time, but although life has its challenges, I love being a mom.
post #4 of 16
I am feeling ambivalent about going back to work, but I think I will be happy about it once I get there--I love my job and I'll only be working afternoons, so it will be the best of both worlds. My mother is coming to stay next door through the end of summer to take care of the kids. I'm not doing much to prepare other than trying to keep tabs on work e-mail, time sheets, and getting the midwives to write me a note.
post #5 of 16
I have to go back in 22 days and my tummy is in knots over it. I'll only be unscheduled part time Mon/Wed/Fri 8-5, so really I shouldn't fret like I am, but still. The idea of putting him in daycare, when all this time I am the only adult that has ever, ever cared for him, makes me ill. I'm scared he'll feel like I abandoned him to strangers. I don't really know what I need to do to prepare, besides building up my milk stash and mentally figuring out where I will be pumping at every clinic I go to. I do need to pick up a pack of disposable diapers because the daycare won't do cloth - another source of anxiety because I have no idea what size to buy. Also I planned to selectively vax him but due to an insurance mess, he won't have any vaccinations by the time he starts daycare, so I'm hoping they still let him come. ACCKKK. I'm just really stressed out about the whole thing.
post #6 of 16
I am also back at work. I really hate going back; I want to be at home with my little one! The plus side is, DH is mostly unemployed at the moment, and can stay home with him, so no daycare! and I work from home 3 days a week.

I am fortunate to be in a workplace that has actual lactation rooms, complete with recliner, magazines, cd-player, sink, and fridge, so that is very nice. so I pump twice while I am here, on the days I come in, and that milk is used for the next day's feeding. I have some milk frozen, but especially since I've come back to work, I feel less like pumping when I'm home, and just want to spend that time with the baby.

Thankfully, he has started sleeping through the night, well, my night anyway, as I go to bed around 11 or so, and he has been sleeping to about 5, or 5:30. We don't really have a set schedule, as sometimes he goes 3 hours between feedings, and others, as much as 5 (not counting night time). He is a very good baby and that helps alot. DH is still sometimes struggling a bit the rare times he gets fussy while I'm gone, because when he gets that way, he's pretty inconsolable. but they do manage, day by day.

The most important thing I've done to "prepare" is to allow other people; the grandparents, dh, etc, to try to comfort and soothe him even when I'm there. It pains me to watch sometimes, because I know sometimes he just wants his mommy but it is something both he and I have to adjust to. Now, after a few minutes, if it is just not working, I'll take over, as there is no need for all of us to suffer endlessly, but it's usually not necessary.

- Katrina and Gabriel - 8 weeks old
post #7 of 16
Sleepheaded mama,

regarding the disposables. I had to buy some for a long flight a couple weeks back. They come with lbs markings and night/day versions. And my advise would be try to get some, that are unscented. I didn't pay attention to that, heck, I didn't even know they put perfume in baby diapers!, and got some that smelled really bad.

For your other concerns, I don't have more advise than just a a big hug. Things will work out. Letting our children go is something we had to learn as soon as they left our womb.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Wow, so many of you have such flexible schedules and can work from home! I can do that to some extent, but only after I have gone out to see patients in the community (then I can do charting on the computer at home), so I can't really plan when I will be home.

akind1, what industry do you work in that they provide so wonderfully for lactating mothers? Awesome!

sleepyheaded...I agree with belltree...it is pretty easy to buy diapers...just buy the ones that are closest to your lo's weight (which pretty much works). I think Target brand are nice diapers and they don't have any scent. They seem to hold most of the mess pretty well. We use them when we go out or on trips. Cloth at home.

My day care is going to provide disposable diapers, so I won't have to buy any for day care except for the one I send him in each morning. We will keep using cloth at home.

Yeah, learning to let go of control is hard for us moms, I think. But it's true...our babies need to learn to trust their web of support, not just their moms... husbands, grandparents, partners, aunts, uncles who are loving and respectful are wonderful, too. It's just tough sometimes!

Question...anyone have a baby who hates to take a bottle? Mine hates it and DH is terrified that feeding our LO is going to be hell when I return to work. Any suggestions? I read on kellymom that you can feed with a spoon or cup if a bottle really doesn't work...has anyone tried that? I tried just to see if he *could* and he can take breast milk from a spoon or cup, but it will take forever to feed him that way... or is it true that LO's do better taking from a bottle when Mom is away from the house?
post #9 of 16
before I gave in to a bottle - I was worried about nipple confusion, or that he wouldn't take it - I used an eyedropper. it allows more control than a spoon or cup and is a bit less messy, but would take forever! maybe you need to try a few different bottle or nipple types? thankfully DS really doesn't seem to care, so long as it is food. We use glass Dr brown's and munchkins.

I process short term disabillity claims for a supplemental insurance company; they do offer some very nice perks.

I just got to be on this flexible schedule a couple weeks before I had the baby, and it is a blessing for sure
post #10 of 16
Originally Posted by Cellist View Post
akind1, what industry do you work in that they provide so wonderfully for lactating mothers? Awesome!
My dh works in RI and they do require large companies/universities to offer lactation room. He has an awesome lactating room, whereas I am left with pumping in the shower stalls. At least it's better than the toilet stalls.

Our little guy does not like the bottle either. But I spoonfed him and cupfed him pumped milk during the first 6 weeks, when my nipples were to sore. Check out Jack Newman's videos, it is not that hard for them to learn.

We had to try quite a bit and had lots of crying before our little guy would take a bottle. He does now, but still does not really like it and often refuses; but he never refuses the boops.
post #11 of 16
My baby now refuses to take a bottle. My MIL watched her while I worked Friday, and she was so baffled why the baby was hungry but wouldn't eat. My husband has tried to give her a few to re-acquaint her to feeding that way, but she will literally have nothing of it. I'm not sure what to do.

The day I went back to work, I got a plugged duct. UGH. Not fun. It hurt really badly.

I only work one job two days a week (home school co-op class) and my church job I can take the baby and nurse her as needed. I'm just not sure what to do about the bottle situation.

I was thinking about getting a Medela SoftFeeder, but does it have to be $30? That, and I doubt my MIL will be thrilled about using it.
post #12 of 16
I have been back at work since the beginning of January. The night before I went I was in tears...I felt such guilt, especially since Maddy's first 2 weeks were in the NICU...but we could not afford for me to stay home any longer. But when I returned to work, it was surprisingly wonderful! I forgot how good it was to have another adult role and I came home refereshed and ready to spend real quality time with my daughter. I love Maddy fiercely but her colic has been trying and returning to work allows me some me time and the break I need to return and feel ready to take on any crying jag!

The hard part is my teaching schedule allows for very little flexibility and though I express at work, bringing my pump everyday, it eats up my entire prep period, so I have to find time to grade and prep outside. My principal also is very unfriendly about FMLA/baby stuff and would not even let me bring a small fridge in my room to keep my breastmilk cold...so I bring ice blocks and storage bags everyday. Pumping in my classroom w/ a locked door is still nerve racking for me but there is no where else to go...

Luckily, my mother-in-law moved in as permanent daycare and it has been an incredible blessing. Knowing that Maddy is home and being cared for by a loved one is what makes it easier for me, though I would still be working even if daycare was the only option. I do worry that Maddy is developing a closer relationship w/ Grandma than me, and I am jealous at times - but also so grateful to be able to leave the house and come back as the best mom I can be
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
One week left for me. I am in a ball of conflicting emotions. Blllllaaahhhh! Thankfully, Ethan has decided he will take a bottle if we position him in a very non-breastfeeding-like position for the bottle feeding and we warm the milk to a nice mama-like temperature. Phew.

But my baby and I have developed quite the daily routines together...and now we both have to learn something new. SIGH! Sad!

One more week to enjoy...
post #14 of 16
hey!! i'm so lame....havent posted here in forever. we didn't have a computer for a while when i was on maternity leave. but i'm back at work and back to having more access to the internet!
i've been back to work for a few weeks now. my first week i felt like i never left but i was soooo tired. much more tired than i had expected! it is nice to be back [and to have two paychecks again since we depend on it!] but i do wish that i worked less days (which isnt possible). i really enjoyed being home on maternity leave, i have a different perspective now about being home with the kids and i really wish we could swing it more. but i am thankful that i only work 4 days, and dh now has his days off in the middle of the week--which is nice for the kids especially the baby....but then we don't have a family day, all of us off all together all day. the baby goes to an inhome day care 2xs/week. my work has 4 pump rooms between the hospital and clinic! it forces me to take a break in the runaround.
i have to admit i wasn't very prepared to go back to work, we hadn't really even tried bottles yikes! but after some trial and error...it seems like the nuk one she's least resistant too. she really only drinks 2 oz in a feeding but i pump so much more than that. hopefully she'll continue to get more used to bottle feeding expressed milk? i don't think we'll be using formula, we tried a few times when my MIL was in town but she just made a nasty face. honestly im kind of glad she didn't take to it. since pumping is going ok, and as long as she'll improve with bottle feeding breast milk....i'd like to keep with that.
ramble ramble......
glad to see this thread! and best of luck to all of you heading back to your work schedule.
post #15 of 16
How are you feeling about going back to work?

Mixed feelings, probably like a lot of people ... I don't really like my job all that much. Throughout my leave, I kept looking for other jobs, but I can't really find any that match my skills/interest or my pay. We took a look at our budget, and played with the idea of me staying at home, but I didn't really feel good about that decision ... I could see the stress creeping across DH's face just talking about what our financial situation would look like. So, back to work I go in the first week of March. There's a part of me that's looking forward to it - getting out of the house, earning money, letting Liam meet new people and see new things.

What are you doing to prepare to go back to work?

I'm putting together a return to work proposal for my personnel committee - my hope is to get 5 hours of flex time that I can do evenings or weekends at home (if needed, my job is 1/2 hours, 1/2 salaried) so I can be in the office 9-4, which will enable us to stay a one-car family and get Liam out of daycare earlier in the day. I'm also asking for a raise for the grant-funded portion of my job. Hey, why not?

I also took a breastfeeding and returning to work class. I'm trying to pump once a day, and put half in the freezer and half in a bottle for DH to give Liam in the evenings. Liam is having mixed reactions to the bottle ... definite suspicion at first, but if I'm not in the room, he'll take it from DH. We're just going to keep working on it until he gets it.

I've also made a sample schedule to get a clearer idea of how we can structure our days and still get family time and a quasi-clean house. DH has agreed to take on more of the house stuff, and I've agreed to just let a lot go.

I've also been reading Hirkani's Daughters from LLLI, which is a collection of stories from women who have combined breastfeeding and working. Some incite jealousy (bringing babies to work), but many incite awe and gratitude for how relatively easy I've got it (for instance, an Air Force mechanic who had to pump in a locker room and had a supervisor who often refused her breaks, so she ended up leaking all over her uniform ).

Where will your baby be when you are working?

Still working this out. We're lucky to have interviewed two home day care providers who have openings. However, one is a chatty Cathy to the extreme (which makes me worry we'll have a hard time getting in and out in the mornings, and especially the evenings), and the other caused me a minor freakout because she recommended the Babywise book to me on more than one occasion (to give you an idea of why this worried me, Dr. Ferber of "Ferberizing" and "crying it out" fame said Babywise was too harsh. Apologies if I'm potentially starting s*** about something I know nothing about!). We're also looking at a center that is literally 2 minutes from our house and 2 minutes from DH's work. I'm really hoping they still have infant openings like they told me they would in September when I visited!
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have one week left...well, slightly less than that now...and I'm sort of excited and really freaked out at the same time. Accck.

We have figured out that Ethan will take BreastFlow bottles from both DH and me (but will drink more from DH, which is perfectly fine), so WOO HOO!! We are practicing with a bottle every day, about 4 oz worth of breastmilk in it. The rest of Ethan's feedings are all directly "from the tap" until I go back.

I'm not loving the one time of pumping each day and will have to do it at least twice a day at work. Oh well. Bah. One thing I keep telling myself is this is a temporary situation; a few months and he can have solids and in less than a year now he can wean... Woah.

I will be meeting with my new supervisor at work tomorrow; she's coming to my house at the end of her work day.

I can't believe this precious time is almost over...! At the beginning, I thought I'd never want another little baby; now I'm starting to think Ethan will need a sibling in a few years.
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