Today marks the end of era for me. After 12 glorious weeks of snuggling my new baby girl I will return to work full time on Monday.
On one hand I love my job and on the other I have cherished this time of bonding with my new baby and getting the chance to play SAHM. I work with amazing people and I can’t wait to get back in the routine of using my brain and connecting with my coworkers. But part of me is sad to be leaving my baby girl for so many hours a day. I’ll miss the smell of her head, the new smiles and expressions and, most of all, holding her close. As a second time mom, I know this cuddle time is fleeting.
I’m embracing that the next few weeks will be a mixed bag of emotion, but I’m struggling the most with the anxiety of how I will balance everything again. To put my mind at ease I’ve decided to spend this last week at home preparing everything I can for my return to the crazy, beautiful world of a working mom.
Here’s what I have done to ease the transition:
Step 1: Meal planning and prep
Getting dinner on the table in a timely manner after working all day can be tough so I’m tackling this by planning and preparing as much as I can. I’ve planned our weekly menu and stocked the freezer with pre-made smoothie packs for breakfast. On our menu are some of my favorite easy meals:
Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin (Crockpot!)
This tasty pork loin cooks in the crock pot until it falls apart and then is topped with an easy to make balsamic brown sugar glaze. It’s sooooooo good! And husband approved.
Chicken Taco Chili (Crockpot!)
I’m a big fan of the crockpot. There’s nothing like getting home at night and having dinner ready to go.
Spaghetti Squash with Bolognese Sauce
If you’ve never tried using spaghetti squash as a substitute for pasta I highly recommend it. Just poke a few holes in the squash and throw it in the microwave for 9-11 minutes. Couldn’t be easier and is so good for you! Even my toddler will eat this. I use ground turkey and I cheat and buy spaghetti sauce for this recipe.
My husband and I have made this soup a bunch of times and it is tasty. The sausage makes it a man-friendly soup and since it also contains Kale and everyone knows Kale is the new Spinach you can still claim some health benefits as you pour in the heavy cream.
For lunch I plan on making some Abundance Bowls and relying on the cafeteria at work to supplement whatever I forget/don’t have time to make.
Step 2: Clothing
After I had my son and returned to work I gained 20 pounds. Part of that had to do with an unresolved health issue and part of it had to do with being insatiably hungry and eating everything I could get my hands on. This time around I’m trying to be healthy for my kids and take care of myself so I signed up for a Kaia FIT Sierra BRIK. While the workouts leave me feeling refreshed, strong and healthy, 5 workouts a week equals more laundry and one more outfit I have to worry about every day. I’m getting my workout clothes ready to go so when the 4:30 a.m. alarm goes off I’m not searching for a sports bra or wondering where my other shoe is.
Taking this one step further I’ve planned my outfits for my entire first week back to work. It’s something I got in the habit of after I had my son and something that helps to streamline my mornings. Plus it’s a lot of fun to shop your closet once a week and come up with new outfits.
And, because I’m a Capricorn, I had to take it even further and decided that one thing that would streamline my mornings a bit more would be if my kid’s outfits were also picked out ahead of time. Because God knows that if I have to search for the other toddler shoe one more time as I’m trying to get out the door I just might send my son to school barefoot. I found containers at Target and promptly bought 10 of them, labeling them Monday – Friday. I’m having my son help pick out his clothes for each day in hopes that he will feel more invested in the process of getting dressed. And if nothing else, at least I will know where his shoes are.
Step 3 – The Pump
Pumping moms of the world can I get an “Amen” when I say that hauling a pump and all of it’s supplies back and forth is not easy? I upgraded to the super amazing hands free Medela pump this time and I’ll be spending a good amount of time this weekend organizing the various parts, bottles and cleaning supplies I’ll need to take with me to the office.
I can’t prepare for everything or every situation, but these are the things that are helping my mind to be at ease. Now if I could just figure out how to bottle that newborn baby smell.
What helped you transition back to work?