Beating the Back to Work Blues
your first week back a short week. Don’t plan
your first week back to work to be a full week. You may have
a rough week and knowing that the weekend is just around the
corner will help.
for help from family and friends. Let your partner,
family, and friends know that you really need some help and
support during your transition back to work. Ask your partner
to help with housework or cooking dinner the first week or
two. Now would be a great time to pull out the frozen
dinners from your freezer and give yourself a break.
a picture of your baby to work with you. The first
few days back at work are tough. Take a look at your baby’s
picture when you start to feel down. You don’t have
to forget about her just because you are at work. Take a few
minutes for a mental mommy-baby moment and allow yourself
to reconnect with your baby while you are away.
worry if you are emotional. It is hard to go back
to work especially after getting used to staying home with
your baby. The first few days you may be very emotional. That’s
okay. If you feel yourself tearing up at work, try to regain
your composure by breathing or taking a quick trip to the
ladies room. Count to ten in your head, breath, regain your
composure and go about your day. If you do shed a tear, it’s
not the end of the world. You can still be a professional
even if you have a few bad days at work.
mini goals for yourself. Instead of thinking, “I
have to do this every day for the rest of my life”,
try thinking about smaller goals. Handle things on a day-by-day
basis. Make a goal to make it through your first day. That’s
it! Don’t worry if you can handle the rest of the week
or the days to come. Focus on getting through the day. You
can re-evaluate and set new goals after you “make it
through” your first day.
home. Call your daycare provider and ask how your
baby is doing. Hearing that baby is enjoying her day or even
knowing that baby is having a rough day will help you to feel
connected to your baby. Call your partner, family, or a close
friend during the day to get a little “mommy pep talk”
to help you make it through the day.
with baby when you get home from work. Plan some
time for you to spend with your baby just reconnecting. Play
with her, sing lullabies, feed her, and reconnect. Make the
most of your time with her.
a reality break. Some days your job is not going
to be what you want it to be. You may not enjoy your return
to work. You may not be happy with the fact that you need
to return to work and can’t stay home with baby just
a little longer. This is when its good to take a “reality
break”. Slip into your own “happy place”.
Take some time in your workday to envision reality the way
your dreams would have it. It sounds a little corny but sometimes
daydreaming at work is a good thing.
professional help. If you think you are having more
than a simple case of “the blues” call your doctor.
It is not uncommon for women to have postpartum depression
after having a baby. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference
between the back to work blues and postpartum depression.
If you are concerned you might have PPD that should be a red
flag for you to call your doctor. After all, that is what
we have our mommy instincts for, not just to take care of
baby but to take care of mommy.