Whether it is because your maternity leave has ended, your period of leave or for any other circumstance, going back to work after having a baby is one of the most difficult moments that mothers experience.
And it is that for many women, separating from the baby after a time together is a hard and complicated process full of uncertainty and fear. Whether you have decided to leave your little one in the care of a relative, or if you have opted for a caregiver or nursery school, these are the most common doubts and concerns among mothers.
May your baby miss you
One of the biggest concerns of mothers when they have to go back to work after finishing maternity leave is that their babies will miss them in their absence .
Obviously your baby will miss you , because during the time you have been together you have been his greatest refuge, comfort and perhaps even a source of food. Therefore, it is logical that he is alarmed or distressed when you disappear, since he does not understand that your absence is temporary and that you will return to look for him.
But this separation anxiety that your baby feels every time you leave him in day care or in someone else’s care is a natural phase that all babies go through at some point (whether or not they go to day care). Little by little, as he matures and understands that mom always comes back to pick him up, the separation will be less stressful for both of them.
Don’t let your baby miss you
But as mothers we are as concerned that our baby misses us as that he doesn’t. Because, what happens when he goes to nursery school so happy that he doesn’t even say goodbye to us? Does that mean that he has forgotten us or that he doesn’t need us?
As we said in the previous point, mothers are everything to our babies, but that does not mean that little by little they will establish affective ties with other figures who will also become referents.
In this sense, if your baby goes to nursery school, it is very likely that he will name his teachers on many occasions, and that he will keep them in mind when drawing them or giving them a gift. He will also smile lovingly at you when he sees you each morning, and jump into your arms with delight .
You may feel a “pinch” of jealousy in your heart, but think that this bond you are developing with your teachers or caregivers is very beautiful and positive.
Not spending enough time with your baby
When our maternity leave ends, we go from spending 24 hours with our baby , to only spending half a day together or even less. And that is something that we feel strongly about!
Not being able to wake up calmly next to him, play together whenever you feel like it, or go for walks as often as you used to, hurts deeply . That is why it is normal that at work you continually think about your baby and what you normally did together at that time of day.
There is no doubt that when it comes to combining work and personal life we have to divide our time. That is why it is so important that the time we spend together is of quality and that we enjoy it and make the most of it.
I am sure that when you meet your baby again you will know how to make up for the time apart!
Babies who are exclusively breastfed do not always accept the bottle willingly; even if it is expressed breast milk. Therefore, this is one of the great concerns of mothers who breastfeed and must go to work.
In any case, remember that taking a bottle is not mandatory, so if you want to continue feeding your baby with expressed breast milk, you can ask the nursery (or the person who stays in your care) to offer it in a cup or with spoon. If he is older than six months and complementary feeding has already started, you can take advantage of the hours that you are not with your baby so that he can eat other foods.
Not being able to sustain breastfeeding
If you are breastfeeding your baby, you may fear that by separating from your baby you will not be able to continue breastfeeding . But starting to work is not synonymous with putting an end to breastfeeding, and as proof of this in Babies and More we have shared testimonies of mothers who continued breastfeeding despite their return to work.
In order to be able to continue breastfeeding even if you start working, it is necessary that you start preparing a bank of breast milk weeks before, and that breastfeeding is the last thing you do before separating from your baby and the first thing you do as soon as you meet again.
That I can’t fall asleep
Many breastfed babies only fall asleep on their mother’s breast . This is completely normal and natural, but when it comes to leaving the baby in the care of other people, the fact that it is tit-dependent to sleep usually generates a lot of anxiety for mothers.
If this is the case with your little one, it is possible to gradually change this habit with patience, love and time. The pacifier can also be a great ally.
That the person in charge does not take care of your baby (just like you do)
It is inevitable to feel uncertainty when you leave your baby in someone else’s care: “Will he/she know how to take good care of him/her?” “Will he be able to interpret her crying?” “Will you comfort him in your arms when he cries?” “Will you give him your full attention?”
The reality is that nobody will take care of your baby as you do , for a simple reason: you are his mother and you know him perfectly; you know every inch of her skin and the meaning of every moan or babble.
But you need to trust . First, that you trust yourself and how capable you are of facing the new situation with serenity and calm, because you know that doing so is positive for everyone. You also have to trust your little one, that he will adjust well and be okay. But above all, you must trust the person who is left in charge, whether they are grandparents, caregivers or teachers.
In nursery schools there are great professionals with enormous vocation and love for their work who will take care of your baby with all their love, and who will be happy to answer all your questions so that you stay calm.
In short, it is not easy having to separate from your baby after enjoying time together, nor having to leave him in the care of other people to go back to work (especially if you feel that the maternity leave you have had is completely insufficient).
But despite the concerns – which, as we see, are common to most mothers – rest assured that your baby will be fine. Trust him, yourself and the people in charge and the process will be more bearable.