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Returning to work after having a baby can be hard for any parent, but it is something which many parents have to do. It can also be difficult to the child, as it may be the first time they have been without their mommy and daddy. But, there are ways you can deal with the emotional side of leaving your children while you work, both for you and your children.
How to help your children adjust
Very young children can adjust to new situations easier than we might expect, however there are things you can do to make the transition run a little more smoothly.
- Before you start work make sure you prepare your child for the change which is about to take place. You could read them a book or help them draw a picture of what their first day at nursery will be like.
- If you are opting for a babysitter, make sure you keep your child involved in the process and give them opportunities to meet and bond with the new caregiver. That way it won’t be such a shock to the system.
- Leave little ‘surprises’ for your child to let them know you are thinking of them. This could be anything from leaving a note in their pocket to cutting their lunchtime sandwich into a heart. Perhaps their favourite teddy bear could make a surprise appearance in their day bag – anything you think will bring a smile to their face.
How to adjust as a parent
The first few weeks apart from your child can be tough, but it will get better! There are lots of things you can do to make sure the situation works for you and your family. Here are just a few ideas:
- You may need to enlist the services of a nursery or childminder to look after your kids during the day. Leaving them in the hands of a stranger can be very worrying but to ease your anxiety, make sure you spend enough time researching someone reputable. Personal recommendations from other moms can be invaluable as well and give you confidence that your children are in safe hands.
- Make sure you spend time bonding with your kids at the end of every day, whether it’s reading them a bedtime story every night or playing their favourite game. This will help you maintain a good routine and make you feel closer even if you can’t be with them throughout the day.
- Seek support from friends, relatives and even counselling services to help deal with the psychological impact if necessary.
- Remember that it is quality time, not quantity time, when it comes to your children.
Although, it can be tough, returning to work can actually be a very positive experience. Not only does it enable you to provide everything you child needs for a safe and happy upbringing, but it can help your child to learn independence from a young age. It’s likely they will make new friends and have new experiences, helping them to grow as an individual.