After months of unlimited bonding, it’s time for me to consider going back to work. So much concern and questions surround the topic, but anxiety trumps it all. Leaving Nuri for the first time seems like torture.
Did you know that in Japan they get 5 YEARS maternity leave? Here in the states, we struggle for a paid 3 months. I think it’s absolutely ridiculous and insensitive. One night away made me nearly have separation anxiety, so 5 days a week of going to a baby-less place of business seems unbearable. I now understand how my boyfriend must feel. For 3 months he’s had to live through pics and 40-second video clips of our baby girl and it still wasn’t enough.
The first year of a babies life is filled with the most adorable developments and milestones and it’s sad that parents have to miss all of it or experience it virtually. Yes, technology is extremely advanced and you can do almost everything minus touching someone (for now), but what is enough when it comes to your baby?
As I prepare, here are some tips on what to do and how to make decisions when it comes to returning to work after maternity leave.
Have The Talk: Sit down with your partner and discuss your leave with one another. Disclose your job’s leave policy, income and financial status (include your bills and monthly budget.) This will help you decide how much time you can afford to put off work and mentally prepare for the big separation.
FMLA: Apply for the family and medical leave act insurance, if you want to secure your job while you stay on leave. Unfortunately, this is unpaid but there is nothing like job security.
Utilize your savings/investments: For those who have put a little something away for a rainy day, maybe you can dip into your stash a little bit so you can prolong your return to work. Be sure to make a pros and cons list to do this. If you will face a penalty for removing funds too soon maybe you should think twice. Life has some unexpected expenses and you want to make sure you are prepared.
Babysitter/Nanny: Now this is the tough part. Finding childcare for your little one for the very first time can be very tough. If you’re lucky you have family or close friends whom you trust to leave your little one with while you return to work or just need time to take care of business. I’d advise someone who has infant experience, doesn’t mind following your “parent rules” or you calling every 2.7 seconds to ask what the baby is doing differently from the last time you called.
Daycare: Some couples may choose to put their little one in daycare and that can be a costly expense. However, if you have peace of mind and can foot the bill, then why not go for it? This may also take a lot of research and you may have to change centers until you get it right, but it’s definitely worth it.
Become a MomBoss: Remote work opportunities can be hard to come, but trust they are out there. With some diligent research and persistence, you may be able to land the perfect gig where you can work from home with your baby for as long as you need to.
Become a Mompreneur: This is easier said than done, especially when your baby has yet to adjust to any sort of schedule. But working for yourself has tons of reward. You can control your income (what you put out, is what you get back), make your own schedule, and you can work from any location you choose.
Going back to work can be a lot to process, but with a lot of planning and research, you can indeed make the best decision for you and your family. The main focus is to ensure your little one is in good hands, so Mom chin up…let’s remind everyone why women are the real superheroes!
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