Many of us have enjoyed the last weekend of summer, having barbecues, swimming and spending time with our children before they start school this week. There have been many posts of the excitement from some parents to get their kids out of their hair, to claim their house back and have some peace and quiet. I have personally said, “I can’t wait for Pre-K to start! Woo Hoo!”
But there is a large position of parents who are dreading back to school because it means back to work.
Yes, the teachers, school counselors or therapists that work in a school district. Some of them soaked up every ounce of summer break with their kids and even got some time for themselves as well. But the people who I am really referring to are the new moms who have to go back to the new school year and leave their infant behind. Many were on maternity leave this past spring and got to enjoy the additional two month summer break , but it still wasn’t enough.
Now I understand that there are many parents who envy the perks of a teacher’s schedule. Many mothers are lucky to get 6-12 weeks off before having to return to work. What about the other Parent? Many don’t get more than a few days to a week. It is incredibly challenging and emotional to dive right back into work after having a baby, regardless of the time off.
I write this post because I am watching my sister-in-law struggle as she has to leave her son for the first time since he was born and return back to work tomorrow. I have so much empathy for her and send nothing but positive vibes her way.
I know there are many in her shoes that are also dreading tomorrow.
So what are some ways that can help with this transition?
-Spousal Support- Having your other half be there to really listen to your thoughts and validate your feelings
-Family/Friend Support- Leaning on others to let out the tears, frustration, anger and to make you smile and laugh
-Scheduling Quality Time- Having rituals that you get to do with your child (dinner, story time, bath)
-Ask for Help- You may need to juggle the housework and weekly errands. Maybe a friend, family member or mother’s helper can help pick up this work so you can focus that time with your kids.
-Me Time- You will still need time for yourself and shouldn’t feel guilty about it. It will help you be a better parent and de-stress from the juggle of work and kids.
Realize that no one is judging you. As a parent we are all our own worst critic. We shame ourselves too often thinking that we are damaging our kids when in reality we are doing an amazing job.
We should empower one another more often. We are doing our best, whether we are stay at home or work part-time or full-time. What really matters is that we embrace, support and love our little ones unconditionally.