In a recent interview, Homeland star Claire Danes said she was nervous about going back to work after giving birth to her baby boy, Cyrus. "I was anxious about returning. I was so in my cozy mommy bubble and I had all sorts of exaggerated fears," Danes said, and wow, if there's something I know all too well, it's this very topic.
Knowing I had a set amount of time to "figure things out" before it was back to the office was single-handedly the scariest thing to me about having a baby. Truly. And if and when I have another child, I now know I have to do two things differently.
One, I'll have childcare lined up. Technically, last go 'round, I did have childcare lined up, but in a weird twist of fate, my family decided to move during my maternity leave, and the old childcare situation definitely wouldn't have worked in our new locale. I wound up having two weeks to figure things out, and it was pretty terrible. Instead of soaking up every minute with my newborn daughter and trying to relax as my leave came to an end, I wound up having to research and interview people. Beyond stressful. If and when I have another kid, I want to make sure every aspect of my childcare is covered before I give birth, so during the time I have off, I don't have to even think about it.
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Two, I won't become obsessed with pumping. A few weeks after I had my daughter, I decided to start pumping, against the advice of a few people. I wanted to get used to it, and I wanted to start stockpiling breast milk for when I went back to work. Bad idea. I got so wrapped up in worrying about how and when I'd pump, and whether or not I'd have enough milk ready for my baby, that it made my overall nursing experience pretty unpleasant. Next go 'round, I'll worry about it a week or so beforehand, not two weeks in.
If I have another child, I know these two things won't take all the pressure off having the constant low-grade buzz in the back of my head that tells my time's a tickin'. But I think (read: hope) it'll make things easier. And when you're a mom, easy is good.
Were you nervous about going back to work after giving birth?
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