Easing back into work

Lots of women go back to work or school after they have a baby. You may be ready to get back to your regular routine and be with your coworkers and friends again, or you may want to stay home. Or, in these tough economic times, you may want to stay home but the family budget requires you to get back to your job.

In either case, it may be hard for you to leave your baby with a caregiver all day, even if it’s a family member or a close friend. Also, it may be hard to find a caregiver you trust. You and your partner may disagree about what type of child care is best for your baby. You may be upset and angry that you can’t stay home with your baby all the time. It’s important to recognize and share your feelings.

Talk to your partner about child care for your baby. Figure out how much you can spend and what kind of care you both want. For example, you can have a caregiver come to your home to take care of your baby. Or you can take your baby to a child care center. Ask friends and family members about who took care of their baby when they went back to work. Maybe you can use the same person or service.

If you’re using a day care center, ask for the names and phone numbers of people who have used the center. Call to ask how they felt about the center’s care. Ask if the center has a place for you to feed your baby if you’re able to stop in at lunch time. Do they have streaming video of the center so parents can take a peek at their kids throughout the day?

Ask your boss if you can ease back into work. Maybe you can work a few hours a day at the beginning instead of all day. Or you might be able to work a few days a week instead of 5 days a week. Or you might be able to take longer lunch hours if your baby is close enough to visit and feed. Being creative in your transition back to work may make it easier on all of you.

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