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Today is the day I go back to work after being on maternity leave for 6 months…! It has been such an amazing, hard, tiring, and exciting 6 months but boy did it fly by. I wanted to write this post to reflect and share my experience leading up to this day plus how I’ve prepared myself and what I plan to do to keep our lives in order.
Throughout maternity leave, I would take time to check in with myself about going back to work to make sure it was something I still wanted to do. And without hesitation, I absolutely did. I was super excited thinking about it and thought, I won’t be too sad when the time comes – I’ll be ready to get back into my daily work routine and not have my days revolve around nap schedules. Well, as much as that is true, it sure hit me with a ton of bricks this past Friday.
I cried and cried and cried thinking about going back and ending this first chapter of life with Charlie. Chuck calmed me down and reminded me how good it will be for Charlie to be around other people and kiddos and how good it will be for me to get back into the ‘swing of things’. Honestly, I think just getting a good cry out, made me feel better.
One thing I will say is the anticipation SUCKS – it’s like you know there’s a huge test coming up and you’re not sure if you’re fully prepared. But then you take the test, and you’re like – that wasn’t too bad! Or you’re dreading that big marathon you’ve been training for but once it’s done, you’re so glad you did it!
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been mentally preparing myself for this day – Getting my headspace right and my emotions under control and as I hit, publish, on this blog post, I feel a sense of relief. Relief that Charlie is taken care of, relief that the anticipation is over with, and relief that the Lord is watching over all 3 of us on this day to ensure it’s a smooth ride. On top of the emotions, I’ve been trying to plan for how we’re going to keep our lives in order with two full time working parents and a 6 month old.
So, here’s what I’ve prepped (And I’m excited to share how well it works out after a few weeks!).
- Prep your Meals. We have made the decision that every Sunday afternoon, we’re going to meal prep for the entire week. This includes breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.
- AmazonFresh is my Best Friend. Going to the grocery store with a 6 month old is not fun. So I avoid it at all cost. Over the past 6 months, I’ve used AmazonFresh to deliver my groceries and I tell you, it has made my life much more efficient and happy. I know that if I can plan my meals and order the food to be delivered Sunday morning, I will be able to make time Sunday afternoon to meal prep. And this gives me all day Saturday to do chores around the house, spend time with the fam, etc, without spending an hour or two at the grocery store. No thank you!
- Get out (or Start) the Family Planner. I’ve always been a planner girl – and yes, I’m talking to old school paper planners. I obviously use my outlook calendar for work and to keep our evening plans aligned for Chuck and I. But all other personal things, go in the paper planning – from meal prep to daily reflections to goals for the week to to-do lists – they all live in my planner. This helps me prepare our weeks and gives Chuck and I the opportunity to sit down at night, after Charlie’s gone to sleep, and check out our week and what we have planned. It has helped us throughout maternity leave and I am excited to continue working with it as I get back into work life.
- 5:30AM Wake Up Call. Charlie wakes up between 6:30 and 7:00AM, so I am going to wake up at 5:30AM so I can take my time and get ready before he wakes up. That way, I can feed him and jet out the door. Early bird gets the worm!
- Night Before Prep. Not only is it important for us to have meals prepped, but there’s Charlie’s stuff, my work stuff, a clean house – all of which don’t prep or clean themselves. One thing I’ve been trying to do daily is clean up before I go to bed – fold the blankets on the couch, put Charlie’s toys away and clean the kitchen, so when I wake up, the house is ready for me. Now that I’m going back to work, I want to put my work bag and Charlie’s bag in my car the night before so it’s all set for the following day. This way, I won’t rush in the morning and forget something. We’ll see how this goes!
As I start this first day back to work, I want to wish everyone a blessed day with full hearts and slow deep breaths. We all need that sometimes. As I get back into work life, I’ll be sharing how I’ve managed to keep everything in line (or NOT!) in life. If you are currently on maternity leave and going back to work soon, enjoy every second with your little one and hopefully these tips will help keep your household together.