Back at work

Ah time flies and little one is now 6 months old. That means I’m back at work. A lot of people have asked me how does it feel to be back at work, with all honesty it’s a mixture of feelings. From one hand feels like holidays because you’re doing adult stuff and having intelligent conversations and you’re likely to do stuff that is interesting for you, so time flies without you even noticing. In the first few days don’t expect to be productive, I’ve spent a lot of time talking to people as oppose to be doing any work. Only more than 1 week on and I’m starting to adapt, but I’m sure there will still be a lot of conversations to be held in the corridor.

On the other hand I miss my little one the moment I kiss her to leave the house. I miss her smile and her giggles and all I want is to be back home and hold her again.

Common worries when you’re back at work

#1 – Where will I leave my baby?
Only a few of us are lucky enough to have someone from the family that can take care of baby while we go back to work. I’m surely not that case as my family is miles away from me. In my particular case I’ve decided for a nursery which is pretty much next door because they offer a lot of activities and there are lots of other babies around. Also, because it’s a nursery, you have more confidence that they will not mistreat your baby. A childminder is a cheaper option and takes care of less kids but to me it would have to be someone I trust. As I didn’t had any recommendations in my area I went for nursery.

You can read more on this article if you want to find the best childcare for you

#2 – If you are breastfeeding, how will you keep your supply?
This is something I’ve been struggling myself. In ideal world you should pump as often as baby would feed. The reality for most of us is that it’s irrealistic. My little one feeds between 5 to 10m and I can’t take the same quantity out of the pump in the same time. It would take me around 1h to get the same quantity. If you can try to pump twice. Once around lunch time and another mid afternoon before you leave. I also feed her just before I leave the house and will feed her once I arrive. She still has all the nightfeeds as well. You also need to check how many feeds she would have while you’re away and try to pump them. I’ve worked out that I would need 5 feeds (as it takes me 2h commute) but I’m only getting 3 max. Fortunately I had a good collection of frozen bags but will run out pretty soon.

In UK, employers are obliged to provide you enough time and conditions for you to breastfeed or pump. In my company I was provided with a small fridge and I also have a room in the health centre which I can use to pump comfortably. For transport I use a cooler bag with a freezer bar inside.

#3 – How will I be able to function without any sleep?
I ask that question myself every day and somehow I do. Little one wakes up at least 4 times at night and I don’t get more than 3h sleep in a row. Most likely it’s just 1h sleep before she wakes up again and needs me. I’ve left my boss know about this situation, so they’ve been really considerate and protective about my workload. Be realistic with what you can and can’t do. For example I was supposed to have enlisted myself for promotion and work out all the business case to get there, but was not going to have the time or head to do it, so I’ve said straight once getting back at work that it was something I wasn’t going to do.

#4 – What happens if the little one gets sick?
This is exactly the stage where I am now. Less than 1 week at the nursery I received the call… yes you will start shaking your legs and stop breathing once you receive a call from the nursery (or your child care provider), in my case it was diarrhoea so had to take her home as it could be a stomach bag. She’s been pooing loads so she has been at home with us. Fortunately both of us can actually work from home – although doing some actual work has been a challenge because she’s really demanding. So this is again something you need to discuss upfront with your employer because they will get sick loads and you won’t be able to keep on taking holidays every time they get sick.

Any other tips you would like to share? Any questions you would like me to answer?

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