So , I was feeling a bit low today.That is because I did not have much to do at work today , and like any other Indian I.T. consultant I was feeling that ways.This is because when we Indians don’t have much to do,our mind wanders and that’s what makes us feel worthless and brings about tension.So unlike my fellow Indian I.T. consultants I decided to break away from the path and divert my mind by writing this week’s post.
This post as the name suggests ‘Back to the grind’ is all about me joining back to work after my maternity leaves.Getting back to work was an altogether emotional challenge for me.I was full of guilt , as I had to leave my 7-month-old daughter so that I could go to work.At work, I used to cry , felt vacant and empty.Initially, it was difficult to concentrate on work because my mind always wandered away thinking about the little one.I would say I wasn’t completely sad about going to work, but I wasn’t happy either.
When my maternity leaves were getting over , all I could dream and think about was ,whether I would be able to work ,like I used to work before the baby’ ?, ‘whether people would still look at me as a serious working professional or just another female-working -mother’-Mind you that tag carries a lot of weight here in India.
As my days to resume work approached near , my first priority was to settle Zuzu.Thankfully my organization housed a day care within the same building.In prepping up Zuzu for the day care I started taking her for evening strolls so that she could see more people or rather children and be playful with them.I had resumed office after seven months of maternity leave.So it was the same time when I introduced ‘Dal ka paani(Lentil Soup)’,and solids in Zuzu’s diet.Slowly and steadily she was getting used to it.I also started waking her up early , for her daily massage and bath, so that I could adjust my time before office, as I also had to get ready and pack her diaper bag and lunch for the day care.I also went shopping for myself, as I didn’t have a good or rather back-to-my-previous body before the baby clothes.
So when the day finally came in when I resumed work, and Zuzu her new day care , things went well until we reached office.When I went to drop Zuzu to the day care,and when the the teacher took the little one from my arms , there was a lump in my throat.I had this strange feeling in my heart ‘that why is the lady taking my baby away’?, and I am standing here doing nothing.I guess most of the mothers would have had a similar experience when they left their little ones at home or at day care under someone’s supervision.I was very brave when I was stepping out of my house , that all is well, and everything will be fine.But this activity of handing Zuzu to the day care supervisor had me in tears.Of course, Zuzu was also crying because this was the first time away from home and away from parents. After I left her, I went to the washroom and cried my heart out for a good ten minutes.Thereafter I was normal and went on to the workstation ,where I met my colleagues and bosses .My colleagues and bosses were kind enough when Zuzu was adjusting to the new day care.This is because I had to sometimes go and leave work in between for home as Zuzu was settling down in the initial days.
So here are the things I followed when I returned to work after my maternity leaves:
1.Stock up on the essentials
By essentials I mean right from groceries to the baby’s daily needs.I used to stock up things for at least a week so that I do not have to rush to a nearby store after work.These should also include diapers,emergency medicines of the baby.
2.Speak up to your boss and colleagues at work
Speak out to them , and explain your situation. This means that just because you have resumed work after a gap, it will take in some time to settle in both technically as well as emotionally.Also, the boss should be informed of the erratic schedule you might have to follow ,just in case the baby falls ill, or needs your time at home due to some reason or the other.
3.Learn to say ‘NO’
Yes.Yes! This is very important.This is because as a working professional , I used to work and slog it out.But after my pregnancy things were different and priorities changed.So it’s important to communicate to your bosses that you cannot work late or you cannot perform a particular task. This is important because , saying ‘No’ at an earlier stage is much better than saying ‘Yes’ , just to impress the person in front of you, and regret it later when you have so much to take care of at home as well.
4.Do a rehearsal
Just because you will be settling down in a new routine altogether, one should do a dry-run before the actual office starts.This includes setting your body alarm at a particular time, which will be very different from your maternity leave days.You can also do this with your baby , like I did, wake her up a bit early , and then massage and bathe her so that I had ample time to get ready.
5.Dress Well/Pamper Yourself
Since you are resuming office after a long break,you deserve a new closet . Yes , don’t try to get yourself fit into the old clothes.Treat yourself well, do some shopping , get a new haircut. All this will surely make you feel much better and might reduce that guilt of leaving the kid at home for work.
6.Prepare for back up
If you are planning to hire a babysitter, do the planning well in advance so that the baby also gets used to the new person at home.
7.Relax and sit back
Yes all this takes a toll on working moms, but trust me all this is fine, it’s normal to be back to work.
These were my simple tips for getting back to work.Do let me know if you liked these, and if you have any others as well.