By Kelsey on May 2, 2012 12

Going Back to Work

Please tell me it will be OK.

Good, even.

For all of us.


I am going back to work next week and I feel the baby blues kicking back in. Thankfully my midwife warned me that this might happen.

Some days are easier than others (like yesterday, when she was really fussy). But on Monday I cried four times about it and didn’t ever want to set her down. My heart hurts I love her so much.

This is a total swing from where I was two months ago, but the anxiety is the same.

It will be another big change for our family and we’ll have to establish a new routine. Again. It feels like we just went through this.

Is this the new normal for the rest of my life? Is this just part of being a mom?

Two things that may make it easier: I’m working half days for the first week, and I have accepted an exciting new position at our company.

I am not an organized person or a lover of change, so I would love any ideas you have that made it easier for you to go back after having kids. Because I know the only way out is through.



I love my husband, my kids and the Internet.

  1. It will be okay! It really, really will. I was very sad when I had to go back to work after our first son was born. I cried so much. In fact, I applied for and interviewed for a completely different job that I was able to do from home. side note: I didn’t get it. After I went back to work and until he turned 1, my husband and I went to his day care every day during our lunch hour. That made it easier for us, and it broke up the day.

    It’s definitely going to force you into a new routine, but you will figure out what’s best for you! And, yes, changing your routine more than you want to is definitely part of being a mom. It helps to be organized, though. Like, meal plan so you know what you’re going to be cooking when you get home, set out clothes the night before, make lunch ahead of time and put it in the fridge, set things out on the counter for the next morning. While I was pumping, I would lay out EVERYTHING that didn’t need to be in the fridge and put it on the kitchen counter so it was just a matter of packing up the diaper bag and pump bag. When we were doing formula, we would make bottles right before we went to bed, labeled them, and stuck them in the fridge so we just needed to put them in the bag in the morning. Even though our kids are older and don’t use bottles, I still plan for the next morning as much as I can.

    I also like to have a couple of outfits planned for myself and hanging up (I hang up about 5 or 6 outfits during the weekend for the upcoming week). Cause, sometimes diaper accidents and spit up happen before you walk out the door. And sometimes it happens on you.

    One thing I figured out a while ago — keep an extra box of diapers and wipes in the back of your car (or trunk or whatever you call it) all the time. Whenever you need diapers or wipes at the daycare, you already have them! It’s not always convenient to run to the store during the week (for me), so that’s helped me.

    For what’s it worth, I was not organized before I had kids. You learn along the way and figure out what works for you!

  2. I would recommend getting a whiteboard calendar that you can put on your fridge (we got ours at Walmart for around $15) We have ALL of our information and schedule on there so it is visible for us all to see all the time. (i even have a planner but I use the one on the fridge more because it is visible at all times) Set aside time at night for you to gather things together for the next day so the mornings are not so hectic and you are not rushing out half dressed :-) Set out Rooney’s clothes and diaper bag and pack your lunch and set out your clothes for work and pre-set the coffee pot to brew on its own (if you have that option ;-) Its not going to be easy at first but the more you try to stay on top of things and stay organized the easier it is and the more relaxed you will feel when you are off to work in the morning because I can tell you when my mornings are hectic and I didn’t plan everything out the night before I am frazzled before I even get to work and then I am not very productive at work. You will find your own routine but I am sure everyone will tell you it will get easier :-) And when you plan things out the night before then that gives you more time with Rooney before you are off to work in the morning too which will make it a little easier to leave. ;-) Good luck Kelsey! You will find out that Rooney did much better than you. I promise ;-)

  3. I’m sure that going to back to work will end up just great for you.

    But I just couldn’t help but mention the question, Have you considered staying home? Of course, it is a personal decision. I went back to work for four months after my first child was born. I enjoyed work, but the reality of someone else raising my child for the majority of his formative hours each day just didn’t work for me. We adjusted, cut back a lot, and I stay home with my boys (now we have two). I couldn’t be more happy I did. It too was a major adjustment, but now that my baby boy is almost four I thank God that I am the one answering his silly AND serious life questions as they come each day. My conscience wouldn’t let me pass this post by without mentioning it to you and hearing what you had to say about it.

    Otherwise, if you do choose to work, you have to know it’s right and stick by it. You can do it! The vocation of motherhood has no clear cut answers so you continue to the best you can in caring, providing and most importantly feeding your child with the Word of God and Christ crucified. God bless you as you head back to work.

  4. Praying for you during this time-I give huge kudos to working moms! Have you guys done number crunching to see if there is anyway to stay home? I know daycare is expensive plus other exPenses! Huge hugs!

  5. I cried and still do cry sometimes when I leave my kiddos at daycare. I have struggled even more with my second to have a work/life balance. I feel guilty for choosing to working, but I feel guilty for staying home and not giving them the education they are getting at our daycare (which is pretty much like a school). It isn’t easy being a mom, but kids are pretty amazing and Rooney will do great. Mom and Dad it will be rough on, but my favorite part of the day is getting pick up my boys and having them run to me (or pick them up in Wyatt’s case). I know I am a better mom/wife because I have the support of my husband, our family/friends and our daycare to be a mom to two amazing boys and work at a job I love.

  6. Teresa Salter May 2, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Hey Kelsey,

    First of all, I am sorry you have to face going back to work, just after things have become settled. Remember to have FAITH and TRUST that the LORD will take care of everything. Love the picture of you two!

    You’ve asked for advice on organizing and I know you like to review iPhone apps (I’ve appreciated your reviews btw), so I wanted to tell you about one of my favorite apps. It is called ‘CalenGoo’ ($6.99 but I think it is worth it), and it syncs with your Google Calendar and Task Lists. With both Andrew and I working full-time, having two pre-teen daughters, and both of us serving at church I live by it to organize our family. Andrew and I can both see and add to it online from the Google Account (it is under just 1 account); and it is synced to both of our iPhones so we can both see and add to it on our iPhones on the go.

    I have it set-up so that is displays several ‘calendars’ (which are just categories displaying all on one calendar view) in different colors. My scheduled activities are purple, Andrew’s activities are blue, the girl’s are orange, church activities are in light blue, budgeting & bills are in yellow, birthdays are in pink, and my daily planning (such as: exercise or cleaning) are in green. I can easily see who is doing what, but I can also very easily move activities when something doesn’t happen that day (such as: cleaning the floor). I realize Rooney probably doesn’t need her own calendar, but you can use it to help schedule and plan your days. I use this for our personal family calendar and then I can keep my Outlook calendar just for work items.

    The main part of the app that I think you will find most beneficial is the task list. I have my task list, Andrew’s ‘honey-do-list’, and the shopping list all as separate task lists synced to the one account. I can easily add items to the list while online at work and shoot Andrew a text to let him know I added to-dos; or I can ask him to swing by the store and he knows the list will be ready on his iPhone (versus calling and reading him a list of items to pick-up). I also set up tasks lists for our wedding back in the day. You can set tasks up for certain days, move them to different days, or leave them open with no due date.

    The application is flexible to set up colors and view the way you want to see it. I love it and hope it helps you too.

  7. Not gonna lie, it will be hard at first. It was for me, at least. I cried and cried. But slowly it gets better and becomes a new normal. Daycare got our babe sleeping through the nights and on a better routine. He also seems so happy there and loves looking at the other kids his size! It’s good for him, I know this.

    I miss him – that doesn’t get better.

    I wrote about my experience here:

  8. It will be OK. I feel for you, everyone told me it would be difficult going back and it was. Really tough. And it will take time (~2 months in my case) to get used to it. My best piece of advice is hire a nanny to watch her in your home, if you can afford it. The other tip that has worked well for my friends is to have dad do daycare drop off and mom to pick-up. Babies seem to be more OK with dad leaving than mom. Listen to your mama-gut and if anything feels off about the care she is getting, investigate it. But here is my back-to-work story:

    I took 6 months family leave and when I first went back, my husband took 6 weeks of leave, and for the first 3 months after that we hiried a full time nanny to care for her. We didn’t start daycare until my daughter was 10 months old.

    At first when I went back, full-time, and she was with my husband, I loved working again! I could sit, relax, have a coffee, adult converstaions, and use the bathroom whenever I wanted. It felt really good knowing she was at home, with my husband having a good time.

    My husband works from home so having my daughter there with the nanny, Jen, watching her also worked really well for us. I could relax at work knowing she was at home and if anything bad happened, her dad was right there.

    Starting daycare was the hardest part. She had started going through seperation anxiety and would Along with all the other babies there. I was late to work every day for 6 weeks, she was sick most of the time (and couldn’t go to daycare off and on so we hired the nanny back), she was not sleeping there, not eating and I was a wreck. I cried all the way to work every morning. I would call my husband in tears, telling him I was never doing this again. I could not concentrate at work. We tried full time day care for almost 2 months.

    And then we decided that if I was going to be able to focus on my work and be present there, we needed her at home, with the nanny, at least part time. So now we do daycare Tues/Thurs and she’s at home with Jen Mon/Wed/Fri and it works well for us. It’s more expensive, yes, but less than I make and it makes it possible for me to work and be productive at my job. She still clings to me when I try to leave from time to time, but I can tell she likes Jen and the daycare. So she gets the best of both worlds. She still does not sleep well at daycare but at least it’s only 2 days a week. She eats well there and gives the care givers big hugs. So I feel good about it. I miss her during the day but I know she’s in good hands.

    Be gentle with yourself. You will be fine.

  9. Hey Kelsey! First of all, not sure if you got my message on FB but I love the blog. :) Also, there is a 25 year-old mom coming in to Des Moines from Omaha next week. She is going to discuss how she pursued a part-time opportunity that has now allowed her to stay home with her baby boy (I think he is close to 8 or 9 months now). The awesome part is that they did it without giving up any income. Would you like to come with me?!! I’m way excited to go. =)

  10. Hey Kelsey. Going back to work is definitely tough. I’m an attorney and work long hours sometimes so I totally feel your pain about heading back. I have a little boy who just turned 2. I totally appreciate all of the comments above suggesting staying home and really admire stay-at-home motherhood as well as working moms. It’s tough either way!

    That said, I wanted to present just one positive voice. I think in some ways working makes me a better mom. I’m able to be fully present in the hours I do have with my son. I have constant communication with his teachers at school, so I am fully aware of what he is learning and how I can best supplement that at home. I am able to have some adult time and for me (who struggles with depression/anxiety sometimes) that has been HUGE in my own personal rediscovery of post-mom self, if that makes sense. I absolutely adore my son with all my heart and sometimes, of course, it is still hard to leave him or feel like someone else is spending more time with him than I get to. But we spent a lot of time picking out a great school and feel really good about it. It’s a large budget item, but worth it for that peace of mind.

    Also, it’s been great for Evan. He is very social and very friendly. It’s easy to put him in the church nursery and he loves spending time with his friends. And even at 2 he has friends who he consistently talks about and wants to spend time with. I love fostering that independence in him.

    Anyway, this is not at all to be taken as negative for moms who choose to stay home. I love that, too, and of course sometimes I wish I could do that as well. I have lots of friends who do both and there are definitely pros and cons. But I just wanted to present one voice from someone who felt like it was a good choice for their family. I am praying for your return and for your family’s adjustment.

  11. Have you thought about staying home at all?? I’m curious for your thoughts on that!

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