Childcare and time management
No matter how efficiently you manage time at work, you need to learn time management after your baby is born. Expand your time frame to fit in your responsibilities as a parent. Your physical recovery, incessant flow of visitors and long list of errands like laundry can drive you crazy. You may experience erratic emotions during these first few weeks. Be aware of how you are doing and acknowledge your feelings. Get the much-needed help. You may be a superb employee but your efforts to be a super mum may still need help from your spouse or family or a care-taker.
Getting back to work
If you intend to go back to work after delivery, make childcare arrangements while you are still pregnant. Make sure the childcare provider is reliable and qualified. If you plan to hire a nanny, shortlist one much before the baby comes home and make sure they are there for the baby from the very first day. Clearly convey all the responsibilities to your carer while you are still on maternity leave. However, having a caretaker at home does not imply that you are free from all the responsibilities of your baby. Keep doing baby jobs as long and as much as you can. This helps you bond with your baby.
Manage baby and work
To effectively manage work and childcare, it is important to plan in advance. Keep your cool. Do not feel guilty about not being able to spend the whole day with your baby any more. Your baby is comfortable as long as they are getting enough care and love by other family members in your absence. Other family members cannot substitute a mother but they can definitely look after your baby’s needs while you are working. Take regular updates about your baby from family member/caretaker over the phone. If you can you might want to consider starting with only a few hours away from your baby and gradually increase the duration.
Spend quality time with your baby
Give your baby the much needed attention and love when you are home and focus on spending quality time with them then, even if it is for a short while. Keep your baby calm and happy, play with them, sing to them, feed them and massage them, if possible. Try to keep your bond with the baby strong and intact, even while you are out for work most part of the day.
Talk to your employer
Talk to your employer about flexibility of your work hours, so that you can spend enough time with your baby as well. You can also discuss any daycare options available in your work facility and provisions for time off for breastfeeding or for a clean private place for expressing breastmilk and storing it in the office refrigerator for feeding your baby later on.
Postnatal visits to the Paediatrician
Make the appointments at a convenient time and be there for every appointment with your baby. Whatever the nature of your job, your baby will still be your top priority and you will find time to be there for them whenever needed.
Storing breast milk in advance
If you plan to breastfeed your baby, get a pump and store the breastmilk at least 3-4 days before you return to work. Store the breastmilk carefully in sterilized airtight containers and put them in the refrigerator for later use. You can also freeze breast milk in containers of appropriate size so that only the required milk is brought back to room temperature for your baby to consume. Get your baby into a habit of receiving feeds from their caretaker in your absence much before you return to work.
Childbirth and childcare are huge responsibilities and there is no perfect one-size-fits-all solution to balancing family demands while juggling with a challenging career. Experiment and find out the best possible ways and options for yourself and your baby. There is no need to worry, your love for your baby makes you expand your life and cope with all these challenges.