Returning to work after giving birth is bound to be stressful, but that shouldn’t stop you or even slow you down. You have a child now, and you also have a career. There is no reason that you can’t have both. Times are changing, and the days when women were expected to stay at home with the children all day are thankfully behind us in many places. As ideals and societal norms shift, working moms are sure to become even more common. Still, however, it is natural to feel anxiety about returning to work and leaving your infant in the hands of another.
Most working mothers of infants choose to enlist the help of a caretaker. This can be both a blessing and a major source of stress and anxiety. It is impossible to work and care for an infant at the same time, so a caretaker is the only choice for many and the best choice for most. Many mothers, however, still feel anxiety and guilt about leaving their newborns in the hands of another. You may worry that the baby will be more attached to the caretaker than to you, or that this person will be the only witness to your baby’s first steps.
Granted, those are valid concerns. You will miss out on a great deal of your baby’s early development by spending so much time at work. This is the cost of having a family and a career at the same time, and there is no way around it. But don’t worry about your baby playing favorites. What is important for the baby is to be lavished with attention and love. You will bond with your child. Babies aren’t like ducklings; they won’t follow your caretaker around for the rest of their lives just because of weekday babysitting in their infant years. Bonds develop and change over time.
You may worry that you’ll be overwhelmed when you get back to work. Working mothers of newborns are very often sleep deprived and heavily stressed at work. Expect this and plan for it. Don’t try to be the stoic heroine 24 hours a day. Build a support network and ask for help when you need it. Ask for advice from other working moms. Make sure that your employers understand what’s going on. Take it slow at first. Being a mother is a full time job on its own, and maintaining your career at the same time will be a lot to juggle.
Back to work anxiety is as natural as motherhood for the working mom. Whether your industry is finance, signange, marketing or any other, you have a busy life to look forward to. Don’t be afraid of what’s to come; just make sure that your child is in good hands and that you yourself are in good hands as well. Many of the anxieties women feel about working while raising children are the result of outdated ideals about family structure. Pay them no mind. This is the beginning of your baby’s beautiful life, and you will always be the best mother you can be.