By Angie Seth @kateygoalie
Bye-bye maternity leave! Hello newsroom!
My days of comfy yoga pants, warm sweaters and T’s, running shoes, and next to no makeup are numbered. I have begun my countdown to back to work from maternity leave and believe me this time around its going to be interesting. With my first child there really was no “countdown”. I was working partially from home and my job offered me the luxury of being able to bring my daughter to work when I needed to. It was perfect!
With my second child, things did not appear to be as chaotic. There was only one extra lunch to be made and only one set of instructions to leave for either the babysitter or my Mother-in-law. Now of course things did get a bit crazy at times, but I was able to juggle all the balls – two kids, husband, home, work, oh and yeah time for me aka my workout – in the air with minimal dropping.
This time however, my gut tells me heading back to work will be a little more challenging. But I am determined to make it work. I am a scheduler and knowing how crazy it can be juggling the needs of three kids, my main focus is time. Now my eldest child will be starting University in September and she most probably will be living at home. She is pretty self-sufficient, but just when I think she is good on her own, she throws me a curve ball in the form of laundry, needing the car, personal issues, major personal time with Mommy, even help with her homework. She keeps me on my toes!
My middle child is a “me do it kid”! She loves to explore, figure things out, be a big girl like her big sister. But she also often needs Mommy for support, help, security, reassurance, loves Mommy play time and of course hugs! There is no fooling her. She knows Mommy is going back to work soon and her life of having Mommy by her side 24/7 will soon change. As a result things have been a bit more challenging with her! She demands more of my time which makes it difficult when I need to spend time with my older daughter or baby boy.
Speaking of my baby boy – my third child – my little guy who, by the way, is completely a Mama’s boy, is going to make going back to work very interesting! He is on the verge of walking, loves playing and exploring. The pots and pans have become a new toy lately – a very loud toy! He just may be my biggest challenge, but hopefully in time he will get used to the new routine.
So how am I going to keep things from going completely chaotic when I go back to work? Well, I have a plan!
As I mentioned I am a scheduler. Dinners and lunches are all prepared the night before. That way there is no scrambling in the morning to prepare them. On the dinner front by preparing the majority of the meal the night before it makes for easy prep when I get home from work so while the dinner is heating up, I can have my two younger kids in the bath. It will also allow me some good chat time with my older daughter! Oh and did I mention I am also a multi-tasker!
For me morning time with the kids is very important, regardless of their age. It sets the mood for the day and the last thing you want is to be dropping off sad, frustrated little ones to the sitter! You get stressed and worry how they will be doing while your gone, and it just makes for an unhappy morning! So my plan is to give myself a good hour and a half to get the kids out the door. That will include getting them dressed and fed, with some Mommy play time in between! That way they are off to the sitter or my Mother-in-laws happy!
Now in the weeks before going back to work I have been taking the kids to the sitter’s place twice a week to help get them used to the idea of staying with someone else for a period of time during the day while I am “at work”. It has been working well with some tears I might add, but despite how they may react initially, I know 2 minutes after I am gone they are fine.
Time and the quality of time I spend with the kids is really key. I know my mornings will not always go as planned. I know there will be mornings I cannot do my routine workout before the kids wake up due to whatever circumstances may arise. Its okay, the workout can easily get pushed to the evening!
Regarding my eldest child, she and I have a very strong bond. We talk to each other about everything. And when we can’t have that personal time it’s quite frustrating. I will admit with two more kids in the mix, life has gotten very busy. My time is really divided up and I know my eldest has lost out because of it. With me going back to work after being home with the kids for a year, my time will be even more divided. So she and I have made a pact to make one on one time for each other every day regardless of how busy we get. We are also planning Mother-daughter days so we can just spend time together like we used to. It is important. As my other two get older I will do the same with them too.
I know it is not going to be easy. I am going to have to make every effort to get out of work once my newscast is over. My new rule: emails and other work stuff can be done at home after the little ones have gone to sleep! If I end up working out at night, well it will be my release after a long day. So am I ready to go back? I have to admit I am excited to get back to work. I do miss my work family and I love my job. But my kids and hubby are my world! Count on it there will be a lot of crying in the car my first week back – thankfully I won’t be wearing any make-up otherwise things could look pretty scary!
So onto my next challenge: September! That means University for one daughter, and Junior kindergarten for the other! Here come the water works again … Stay tuned!
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