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How to Deal with Going Back to Work After Baby When it Feels Impossible

Inside: If you’re trying to figure out how to deal with going back to work after baby (because the thought of it makes you feel like you’re dying inside), these must-read tips will help. It’s normal to feel anxiety when going back to work after baby, but preparing yourself will make the transition easier, for you AND baby.

You are mama bear, and I hear your roar.

Leaving baby for the first time or to go back to work is so incredibly hard. You might feel like a crazy, overprotective lunatic riddled with separation anxiety.

Welcome to the club. That’s what happens when you become a mother.

I remember not wanting other people to HOLD my baby, so as you can imagine going back to work felt like someone was ripping my heart out.

Having a log like the one below was essential for me. Both of my children had milk protein sensitivities, so I needed to know what I ate, how they slept, when they pooped, etc. And I wanted to know what her day consisted of.

I also have a caretaker (love you, mother-in-law!) who believes that ice cream is a health food. It’s dairy, she says! This handy little paper, I like to believe, gives her a little more accountability.

No matter what, leaving is not going to be easy. But what is with new motherhood? My tips will make it a little more easy to bear.

How to Deal with Going Back to Work After Baby

how to deal with going back to work after baby

Practice it gradually

If you are leaving baby for the first time, just go on a few short trips and work your way up to a longer absence. FYI: a 30 minute trip to the grocery store solo just might rejuvenate you as much as a day at the spa.

See: Self Care for Moms Who Suck at it

If you are returning to work, do not let that be the first time that you are away from baby. Or the second. Or the third.

With my first child, I think I had been away from her a whole 3 times before going back to work. And I was proud of that. But looking back, it was a mistake. It made it more difficult for both of us.

Do a trial run

Have baby stay with your caretaker before the big day. Stay with your baby and caretaker for a while so that your baby gets used to the person with you (her comfort) there.

Leave instructions

Let your caretaker know what baby’s typical schedule is and what you EXPECT from the caretaker.

Be informed and ask questions

It’s so important to know what happened with baby that day so that you can feel connected. How much milk did baby drink? How were naps? Get my free printable that makes it simple for your baby’s caretaker to write down the specifics of the day.

Trust your caretaker

Choose a caretaker that you feel extremely confident in. There are so many times that I’ve heard about moms who feel uncomfortable with their caretakers in some way.

You have options! You should love the person who will be spending the day with your baby. That person should listen to your wishes and should be honest and open with you.

Check in

Don’t be afraid to check-in during your lunch break. Hearing a reassuring report will help you to relax and make it through the rest of your day.

Prepare now if baby is breastfed

Deciding how often to pump while at work and whether or not you should pump at home as well can be tricky. Learn what you need to do when choosing the perfect breastfeeding and pumping schedule.

Unfortunately, leaving a breastfed baby can be a little bit more challenging. Get your baby used to drinking from a bottle, but also know that some babies will simply wait for you to return. Know that this is normal, and that baby will make up for it. In the middle of the night. Yay.

Related: Awesome Breastfed Baby Bottles

Regardless, you are a busy mom and you need the right tools to make pumping quick and (sort of) painless. You can learn more about my 5 pumping must-haves and read all of my tips for returning to work and breastfeeding.

Remember that some time away is good for you.
Becoming a mom doesn’t mean that that role defines you. Don’t feel bad about taking care of YOU.

How does the thought of leaving your baby make you feel?

Pin it for later!

When maternity leave ends and you need to go back to work, leaving baby might cause separation anxiety. For baby and mom! Tips on making it a little easier.
Does the thought of leaving your newborn for the first time give you anxiety? Make it as easy as possible with these tips!


Tuesday 31st of October 2017

Love the printable! Shout out to all the working mamas out there. You are superwoman! Don't know how you do it.


Wednesday 1st of November 2017

Sometimes I wonder. It's not easy!

Denise Smith

Friday 27th of October 2017

These are great tips I have been a mom for almost 10 months now and I still struggle with this, thanks for sharing


Wednesday 1st of November 2017

I think it's our instinct to want to be with our babies! Glad to help!


Friday 27th of October 2017

My mother-in-law is the same! We were lucky that she was able to take care of my two girls two days a week for nearly 3 years. I could not be more grateful! However - I wasn't always pleased with her food and drink decisions! To save our relationship, I let it slide most of the time! ;)


Wednesday 1st of November 2017

I'm so grateful, but I was so happy when my 5 year old started school and I regained control over what she eats ?


Friday 27th of October 2017

One of the HARDEST parts was leaving, I felt like he needed me there but he was completely fine with Dad or Grandma. I still feel guilt leaving and it doesn’t help that he can verbalize now! At the end of the day, you’re right, it’s important for YOU.


Monday 20th of November 2017

Important, but still so hard! I just feel in my heart that I'm supposed to be with them!


Thursday 26th of October 2017

These are great suggestions. I have an 11 month old and I still cry about once a week leaving her for work. I can't stand it. I wish I could say that it gets better but for me so far it's not getting any easier. I am blessed enough that my own mother gets to watch her while I work and I truly trust her. But I just to be home with my daughter. As I read your Tips and noticed that you also had a MSPi baby it rang home to me. Thanks for sharing these for all of the new moms out there. I'm sure it's easier for others than it is for me, but I wish everybody the best of luck


Monday 20th of November 2017

It definitely helps when your child is with family! I had 2 MSPI babies. It definitely added to the stress!