As I prepare to close one of the sweetest seasons of my life, I feel compelled to share how I plan to cope with the coming changes. I have had the beautiful opportunity to have an extended maternity leave of 12 weeks. The last 10 weeks have been some of the best of my life. Slow mornings, jammies all day, lots of messes, tears, and most of all special time with my two girls. If only I could freeze time, but I can’t, and in 2 short weeks, I will return to my full-time job outside of the home. Since I can no longer ignore the fact that it is quickly creeping up on me, I’ve been reminding myself all the ways I prepared my heart and family last time and a few ideas I’ve learned since then.
Practice makes perfect – Okay, we know this is never true. But, practice does make you better! With my first daughter, this was some of the best advice I received. If you have the opportunity, take your baby to daycare for half a day while you run errands; this will help prepare your heart for the separation. Doing so also allows you to practice the drop off routine so you are prepared that first morning.
Skip the Monday blues – This little tidbit of advice is golden. You will be exhausted. You are already exhausted so adding in a full workday and the emotions of those first few days will wear your body (and maybe your spirit) down. Start back on a Wednesday, or even better, a Thursday! That way you can ease into the juggle of it all.
Reflect on what you love about your job/career – Getting ready to leave your sweet babes with someone else is never easy, so take a minute to write down, or just think about, what you enjoy most about your place of work (i.e. adult conversation ?). Share your career goals and goals for your family knowing this is one step in getting there.
Freezer Meals – Come home to an already cooked meal that just needs to be put in the oven. This will make your evening so much better, and best of all gives you the ability to just snuggle those babies until bedtime! Pick a day in the week before you go back to work to stock your freezer with prepared meals (lasagna and chicken pot pie are a few of my favorites to freeze – also check out Kathy Oak’s blog about Meal Prep Sundays). This working momma loves to freeze, use a crock pot, and anything else I can to make the hustle of evenings a little easier.
Call your Momma – I saved this for last and it’s the best piece of advice I can share. If you have the ability, call your mom because if your mom is like mine, she always makes it better. With my first daughter, my mom kept her during my initial days back to work and this eased my mind, but also helped me in the mornings because it saved me some time. Anyone else just have a better day when their momma is close?
Drop some love below and let me know your best advice and where you get to work each day. If you stay at home or work outside of the home, your work matters and your family is blessed by your contribution and the sacrifices you make daily. Stay strong, sister!