This post was originally published on meetothermums.com (http://www.meetothermums.com/blog/view/backtowork)
After taking 54 weeks off work, I hung up my maternity bra, got my nice bag out and went into panic mode as my daughter (Arabella) was too ill to go to nursery on my first day back at work AFTER A YEAR. She had started nursery full time 2 weeks before I was due back and guess what happens at nursery? Babies get sick, especially at the beginning. As a side note, I would highly recommend not combining your first day back at work with baby’s first day at nursery or with a childminder as if you’re anything like me, you’ll end up crying and feeling very emotional. There is no way I could have left her and then gone to the office. I would not have managed to concentrate and it would have been awful. The Wednesday before I was due to go back I picked her up from nursery and she had quite a high fever. I spent the next few days coming up with “Plan B” for childcare. I don’t know why I hadn’t looked into this earlier, anyway… I then discovered there are websites set up to provide emergency childcare so I organised for a local nanny to come over on Sunday.
Come Sunday I could tell Arabella wasn’t going to be well enough to go to nursery. My husband couldn’t take the day off either (no matter what I was going to work that day!) so I came up with the genius idea of flying my mum over from France (she was actually quite excited to be coming over to see us all) as no matter how nice this nanny might be, I wasn’t really comfortable with leaving her with someone we didn’t know and if she was going to be sick for a few days it was going to cost more to pay for emergency childcare than fly my mum over! In typical nightmare fashion, half way through the interview, my mum called to say her plane was cancelled due to fog, a lot of fog so there wasn’t going to be a flight the next day either. So the emergency nanny got hired on the spot!
Having a nanny made my first day a lot less stressful in the end as there was no nursery run and nobody was going to call me to come and up pick her up. When I got home, the funniest, sweetest thing happened. She handed me Arabella and straight away she started waving goodbye to the nanny, as if to say “you can go now, mummy is here”, it made my day and nearly made up for the fact I had to be reunited with this awful device:
So my advice for your first day back at work would be:
- Don’t combine it with the first day of childcare
- Have a plan B and C for childcare in case of sickness
- Prepare everything you and your baby need the night before
- Accept the fact it’s going to feel weird and not going to be easy but it gets easier after the first day