These days, most parents have the opportunity to spend a little time together as a family before they need to return to work. It’s great having the extra support there to get you through that initial challenging period of adjustment. However, it feels like just as you start to get into a routine, your partner now needs to return to work and that can be a truly terrifying prospect.
Now, for the first time, you’re going to be left alone with baby. Don’t panic! It may not feel like it right now, but you’ve got this covered! You and your little one are going to be just fine, but for peace of mind, here you’ll discover some of the best tips and advice to help you through this daunting change.
Don’t Feel Pressured Into Leaving The House
OK, so you are going to need to leave the house at some point. However, the first month of baby’s life is pretty tough. It can be difficult finding time to do anything when you’re constantly in a seemingly never-ending feeding, burping, changing, sleeping, and cuddling schedule!
The thought of needing to venture out alone when your partner returns to work can be extremely daunting. That’s why it’s recommended you stay indoors during that first month. After all, this is more of time to bond with baby. If you need groceries, order online or ask your partner to pick things up on their way back from work. You may feel guilty, but don’t forget you’re working hard too. Raising a baby, especially in the early infancy period, is exceptionally difficult.
So, don’t rush to get out. If you need to get out of the house (and let’s face it, it can start to feel like you’re going insane cooped up at home), start off small and take baby for a short walk in their stroller. You may find yourself doing this frequently anyway as a walk with the stroller can often settle a fussy baby and help them to drift off to sleep.
Enlist The Help Of Friends And Family
Many parents try to limit visitors during the first few weeks after bringing baby home. So, when your partner returns to work, now’s a great time to start inviting friends and family over. Now, you don’t want to invite everyone around at the same time! However, inviting one visitor a day, or even just a few days out of the week, can be a massive help.
You can use their visit as a chance to grab a shower, or simply as a way to relax. One of the main challenges new parents face after having a baby, is the lack of adult interaction. As much as you love your little one, adult conversations are required in order to keep your sanity!
So, don’t be afraid to invite your friends and family over to help out or just catch up. This will really help to ease the loneliness you might feel once your partner does return to work.
Switch On The TV
Even those who never really watched daytime TV prior to have a baby, tend to start leaving it on all day. This is because it helps to provide background noise – something that’s really appreciated when there’s just you and baby at home.
The background noise from the TV can also help to keep baby happy. Contrary to popular belief, babies don’t like their environment to be too quiet. They’re used to a lot of noise (you’d be surprised how loud your uterus is!). So, a little background noise can even help settle them to sleep.
Express Milk During The Day
Although you’ll want to spend as much time with your partner as possible, it might be a good idea to let them take over in the evenings. That way, you can have a nap to prepare yourself for the night shift.
Expressing milk during the day for your partner to feed to baby in the evening is a great idea. This also gets baby used to being fed by someone else, which can save a lot of stress further down the line if you need to be away from your little one for any reason.
Of course, this is also great for your partner too. They will be able to spend some time alone with baby which they’ll really appreciate.
Take Advantage Of Online Forums
What if you don’t have friends or family nearby who can help? Well, the great thing about living in this digital age, is that you never have to be completely alone. We have our very own forum that you can use to connect with other parents.
We’d love to have you as part of our community, so please feel free to check it out by clicking here!
It may not be physical company, but even just being able to chat online and get advice from others in a similar position can make a world of difference.
Set Yourself Small Daily Goals
The reality is, you’re unlikely going to have time to look after baby, clean the house, be a fantastic partner and keep up with your social calendar. This can lead to feelings of guilt. However, remind yourself that it’s perfectly OK to just focus on your baby right now. Other things can wait. Setting small goals is a much easier and healthier way to handle those first few weeks by yourself.
It could be something as simple as “do one load of washing”. Ticking it off once it’s done will be an amazing feeling. If you have time, you can always set yourself another little goal for the day too. Often separating tasks into smaller goals can be really motivating and helps you to feel much less overwhelmed.
Overall, it can be scary when your partner returns to work. However, support, whether it be from friends, family or even strangers online, can really make the world of difference. Remember to take it one day at a time too. Some parents even advise taking it hour by hour. Do whatever works for you.
Did you struggle when your partner returned to work? How did you handle it? Share your experience and tips below!