All this week, we’re hearing from new first-time moms about what it’s like to go back to work after being home with baby. Today we hear from Jackie, a political mama on the move who had a quick turnaround between welcoming baby Lincoln and heading back to work.
Here’s how this on-the-go mom has tackled her biggest challenge yet: heading back to work after baby.
Congrats on your little man! What’s little Lincoln like?
Hey there! Our little guy Lincoln is 16 weeks old and it has been the most incredible whirlwind. He is a giggly dude who is most recently obsessed with his hands: staring at the them, sucking on them, banging them into each other – which makes him crack up laughing!
How did it feel to go back to work after just six weeks home?
I work in politics in New Jersey, with some unpredictable and often long hours. Going back to work was bittersweet at times; I couldn’t believe my maternity leave was over but I absolutely LOVE my job. I missed Lincoln dearly but was happy to have a space for grown-up conversations and responsibilities that didn’t involve a diaper!
We were lucky that he was able to stay exclusively with family until he was 3 months old. But the first day I dropped him off at daycare – I can’t remember the last time I cried so hard.
Speaking of daycare: How have you approached childcare?
Our philosophy is whatever works. Which for the time being translates into two days of formal childcare education and the rest of the days with family. The most taxing part is that my husband now works weekends, so we don’t get a day off to spend together.
What advice do you have for other new moms who may be headed back to work soon?
The single best piece of advice I got was from my supervisor, himself a dad to a 4-year old and a 1-year old: “When you are work, be present at work. When you are home, be present at home.” It has stuck with me because I know that if I can focus and plow through work at the office, when I get home I can often stay off my laptop and just triage emails from my iPhone. Also, if you are breastfeeding mama, get a power adapter for your car and pump during your commute. Every ounce counts!
Congrats again, Jackie and thanks for sharing your story. You make the often challenging transition of a first-time mom heading back to work look like a breeze!
Check out my other Real Stories from Real Moms – Real Moms Talk About Going Back to Work: Sara’s Story and Real Moms Share: How We Chose Baby’s Name.