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Back to work Monday... nervous!!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi ladies,

First I wanted to say that I've been enjoying this group - you're a nice bunch! :-)

My daughter (I'm an FTM) will be 10 weeks on Monday, same day that I head back (part-time) to work. I have a good situation set up for my return and feel very lucky, but I'm still really nervous about how it's all going to work out. I will be working 2 full days in the office while DH watches our little one, and then I'll do two shorter work-from-home days where I watch DD at the same time. I'm psyched that we have figured out a way to put off daycare. I'm not sure how long we'll be able to keep DH at home part time - he is self-employed and at certain times of the year his work picks up and he makes most of our cash for the year. But for now we've decided that being at home with DD as much as possible without me having to quit my job is our priority.

Anyway... anyone have experience working from home with a little one? I'm EBF and am also worried about pumping at work. I have been pumping at home a bunch, but I have the feeling that I get less milk when I pump than when I bf.

Another concern - DD has taken a bottle without problems a few times, but I rarely RARELY have left her - only twice have I left her with DH for about 3-4 hours. Is she going to freak out when I'm away the whole day and can't get her mom-boob-time? She is well bonded with DH - he is a very involved dad. But the last couple weeks when she's worked up she's pretty mommy-focused. I guess that they will have to figure out their own routine?

Lastly, it's interesting how much breastfeeding really ties you to your child - both your thoughts and your body. I didn't foresee how deep a connection it would bring. It makes leaving home harder for me. I have mixed feelings about returning to work at all, but feel like it's the best thing for me at this time. I wish that I could have a 6 month maternity leave, though (rather than an unpaid 2.75 month one!)

Any wisdom? Just needed to vent a little.

:-) Vanni

post #2 of 6

I work from home, but with my first son I went to the office two days a week while DS was with my husband.  So I hope I have some helpful advice :-)

 

Working from home is harder than I thought it would be.  Obviously there are all the things around the house that need done as well as a baby that needs tended to, so it's hard to be able to sit down and focus on work.  It's much easier to be in an office!  I'm not trying to dissuade your choice to work from home- not at all, I'm glad I am able to do it- but just a warning that it *seems* like it will be easier but it's much much harder.  I think the general population thinks I have it so easy working from home.  That is not the case AT ALL.  

 

Pumping at work- try to pump only when you feel like you'll get a good amount of milk, either when baby would normally feed OR when your breasts feel full (can you feel your milk come in?  You may have never felt that sensation before, but you may start to when you are away from baby).  I didn't pump as often as I would have nursed- I would pump maybe just once a day during a 6-8 hour stretch, and I pumped/fed baby before I left and fed him again right when I got home.  I never had supply issues because I was only gone those two days and baby would nurse all the time when I was home, so my body never decreased my supply.  But if you just pump the one or two times, you are more likely to get a huge amount of milk because you're so full. If you try to pump really often you might only get a bit each time and it would be really discouraging.  Waiting until I *knew* my breasts were full of milk made me really confident that I'd get a ton of milk- lactating has such a huge mind/body connection, you know?  I also find that having a distraction helps when I pump.  I literally surf the web when I am pumping and all of a sudden I'll look down and have two completely full bottles of milk in less than ten minutes, whereas if I am just sitting paying attention to the pump I'll get less than half that amount in 20-30 minutes.  Find what works for you!  Dont' stress- stress will inhibit your letdown.  If you're in a place where you can't *do* something else, at least think about something else.  Make a grocery list in your head, for instance.  Something to take your mind off the pumping and the thought of "needing to get milk".  

I don't think she'll freak out.  If you are not around, she will be distracted and bonding with daddy.  I was always surprised that my older son would eat SO much less when I wasn't home- but it was because he couldn't see/smell the milk machine :-)  He was very happy being home with DH.  On the other hand, I know some babies eat MORE because they miss mama.  So be prepared for either.  I've found that I always *think* my babies will freak out when I am not there, but they do SO well.  It surprises me.  Be ready to give extra cuddles and attention when you get home and even that night.  Some babies make up for lack of mama time by waking up more at night.  My DS was a terrible sleeper the nights *before* I went to work.  It sucked because that is when I most needed sleep!  But I think his body knew our routine, and knew when I would go to work. Just remember- in psych terms a "healthy attachment" means that baby might be sad when you leave (mine was) but recovers quickly and is generally fine while you are away.  That means they are trusting of their environment and are developing self-confidence.  It's a good thing!  (I would be a little hurt when DH would tell me that DS didn't seem to miss me after the initial crying spell when I left.  But it's really a sign of good attachment).  

As for them working out their own routine- yes.  It's hard to let that happen though, because as the mama we know best, right?!!  But trust that your DH and baby will work it out.  DH does things different from me, but that is okay!  Our sons are learning that mom and dad are different- I am more nurturing and, well, uptight haha.  DH is more carefree and fun with the boys, and when they need comfort, DH is more of a strong support than a tender comforter.  That's normal! :-)

Be thankful for that bf-ing relationship.  It is a beautiful thing and will continue to bond you and be an integral part of you and your DD's relationship for a long time to come.  It will be the thing that reconnects you when you return home from work.  love.gif

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

JBK, thank you - your response makes me feel a lot better. First of all, I totally hear you on the difficulties of working from home. I have actually been very reluctant to set myself up to work from home because I find it's easier to work in an office. Some people love working from home - I prefer going in to work and keeping home life separate. But this was the only way we could figure out how to put daycare on hold for now. It's going to be a juggling act to get office stuff done at home with DD and not let my work life seep into my home life too much (many of my coworkers have very little work/home separation and I don't envy that). I'm going to try to make those home days very short (4 hours), but since the time will need to be broken up into chunks when DD is willing to chill out, it's going to seem longer!

 

There have been people at work encouraging me to bring DD into the office, but I don't know how comfortable I would be with that for a bunch of reasons (don't have my own office, what if/when she has a meltdown, the amount of baby stuff I'd have to lug in...). On the other hand, it may be worth a shot sometime to take her in for a short day and see how it goes.

 

All your advice/experience about attachment, pumping, and leaving DD at home with DH is super helpful and reassuring. Especially the reminder about the attachment part.

 

I have a lot more to say, but this is my brief window where I can get out of the house for a walk, so I'll return later! Thanks again for your kind words. Really helpful!

 

:-)

Vanni

post #4 of 6

Thank you vanni for starting this thread and jbk for your wisdom. I go back Monday as well. I got 12 weeks part time approved and then we'll see. I've been really sad, just don't want to leave the lil guy. Now that DH is getting more involved I feel fine about how he'll do with the baby.  We've got childcare figured out for the first 4 weeks (Dh has two weeks off then grandparents will be staying with us). I'm nervous about pumping at work and having enough milk for him so it's helpful to hear how it's been done before. More later, DS is starting to fuss.

post #5 of 6

I went back to work a few weeks ago. It's been fine. I had plenty of milk in the freezer and I was concerned becaus she wasn't taking a bottle well before I went to work. I work a long shift and he has taken anywhere between 20 and 30 ounces on days I'm gone and I pump about 24. I pump when my breasts are full, which is about every 3 hours for me. 

 

He does very well with my DP, she sends me smiley pics all day. Evenings are harder but they do alright.

 

Good luck. 

post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbk21 View Post


Working from home is harder than I thought it would be.  Obviously there are all the things around the house that need done as well as a baby that needs tended to, so it's hard to be able to sit down and focus on work.  It's much easier to be in an office!  I'm not trying to dissuade your choice to work from home- not at all, I'm glad I am able to do it- but just a warning that it *seems* like it will be easier but it's much much harder.  I think the general population thinks I have it so easy working from home.  That is not the case AT ALL.  

 

I worked from home with my first and J is totally right, it's WAY harder than I thought it would be and WAY harder than most people think.  Sure, if you let your kid sit in a swing or bouncy seat all day with a paci in his mouth while you work then it might not be that bad.  But I think it's safe to say that none of the moms in this group do that.  Therefore it becomes quite difficult to balance the needs of your child with work b/c you hardly ever have the chance to actually complete a task in one sitting.  This can be highly frustrating not to mention the increased likelihood of error in whatever you're doing.  I often found myself working late into the night to get things done after dd had gone to bed and then, of course, I was up with her 3-4 times a night and dead the next day.  Not ideal for me.

 

Quote:
I've found that I always *think* my babies will freak out when I am not there, but they do SO well.  It surprises me.

As for them working out their own routine- yes.  It's hard to let that happen though, because as the mama we know best, right?!!  But trust that your DH and baby will work it out.  DH does things different from me, but that is okay! 

Yep, me too.  It no longer surprises me, but when I first started working away from home (only for short periods of time) I was always shocked when I got home and heard that she never cried and they had a great time together.  Of course your kids will act differently with a different care giver.  In fact, they often act better with a different care giver.  And it is good for your dh to find his own rhythm with the baby.  It will build his confidence, strengthen his attachment with the baby, and get the baby used to someone else caring for her needs so that you do not have to always be "on" even when you're home and eventually someone besides you or your dh could care for her. 

 

Quote:
Just remember- in psych terms a "healthy attachment" means that baby might be sad when you leave (mine was) but recovers quickly and is generally fine while you are away.  That means they are trusting of their environment and are developing self-confidence.  It's a good thing!  (I would be a little hurt when DH would tell me that DS didn't seem to miss me after the initial crying spell when I left.  But it's really a sign of good attachment).

Yes.  This can be difficult to remember when you see your child crying and reaching out for you when you leave.  But it's true and after you are out of sight, usually things are just fine. 


 

 

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