Returning to Work – What about the Baby?

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Not all women are lucky enough to have a long and well paid maternity leave, so many find themselves in the position of returning to work even before the baby is six months old. Are you pregnant and see yourself in the near future in the same situation? Then you are probably wondering – what about the baby? There is no quick fix or workaround for this, so you need to think as soon as possible about a long term plan which is convenient for both you and the baby.

Rethinking the way you work

How does home office sound? Would your employer agree? Would you like it? Could you split your work through the day so your partner can stay with the baby while you work?

A part time job is also a good path to follow until the child is ready for nursery or even kindergarten, if your financial situation allows you this.

Another option would be to try working project based as a freelancer or run a small business which can be managed from home. All these may sound pretty scary pre-baby, yet will seem small and unimportant once the baby arrives, especially if you will be the kind of mother that will find it hard to separate too much from the child.

Hiring a nanny

If you and your partner can take turns in caring for the little one, a babysitter would only be needed from time to time, when emergencies occur. However, if your work schedules overlap, you may need some serious help and you should look for an employee some time before giving birth. This will help you find the best person to take care of your baby, a person whom the child may know since his very first day, and with whom he should accommodate easily. You can find a professional on your own or with the help of an HR recruiter, but keep in mind that hiring a full time nanny gives you responsibility as an employer and may put a severe strain on your budget.

Getting help from family

If you’re lucky enough to have around future excited (and retired) grandparents who cannot wait to snuggle with the new baby, you shouldn’t even transform going back to work into a huge concern. Yes, you still need to figure out how to manage breastfeeding, and what about all those firsts and milestones you may miss, but there’s no one in the world that would care for your baby like someone in the family who cannot wait to meet him. Leaving the baby in the care of your or your partner’s parents is an act of trust and love. And the good thing is the child will form a strong and unbreakable bond with his grandparents, while they will be happy to relive their youth through parenting (although sort of part time) a brand new baby. Another advantage is that they are clearly experience and not stressed as with their own children, as, after all, the main carers of the child are still you and his father. But what a wonderful experience for them!

Leaving your baby home or simply leaving the baby away for some time in order to focus on work is a bummer. Especially in the first months when you probably still feel the closeness that has united you when he was still in the womb. Yet in most cases, returning to work is not actually a choice, but a need. So figure out in time what is best for your family and prepare for what’s to come. Even if separation will be difficult, remember that quality, and not necessary quantity is what matters when spending time with your child.

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