Thursday, August 19, 2010

Baby, I'm Back (With Baby!)

Thousands of women juggle families and full-time jobs every year, and now I’m one of them! Earlier this year, my husband and I welcomed a healthy baby girl into our family. I immersed myself in her care until it was time to put on my professional attire, board the commuter train and get back to the job I love.

And you know what? Going back to work – as daunting as it sounded at first – has gone great. Which brings me to a few of my “trade secrets” to a smooth and happy transition back to work:

  • Start Slow – Create a transition plan with your employer. I asked to be integrated into daily communications before my return, and then worked part time from home for the last two weeks of my leave. I also visited the office with the baby before I returned to work – allowing me to catch up with co-workers and show off my little girl before I had a to-do list to juggle. The result? I was “in the know” again and ready to go on my first day back.

  • Rehearse – The logistics of getting to work when you have a baby can be tough, with earlier mornings, less sleep and a limited wardrobe. I made it easier by “rehearsing” a couple of times before work resumed. I practiced everything: getting up, getting showered and dressed, driving to daycare and taking the train to the office. I found a few flaws in my plan and fixed them before my first day back in the office.

  • Stay Connected – Being the expert on my baby’s care was one role I was not willing to give up when I returned to work. I had lunchtime conference calls with daycare during my first week back to discuss my baby's progress, and I have my daycare provide notes on the baby’s day so I can review everything she did.

  • Embrace Support – Have a coworker who always wants a good baby story, or asks for a recent photo? Embrace the support and take five minutes to relate. Integrating your new role as a mom into your work life will make the transition easier and keep you smiling.

Lots of factors contribute to a smooth transition back to work: liking your job, getting much-needed sleep, knowing your baby is happy and finding that all important work/life balance are just a few. But there are many of us who have found success being happy, wonderful moms and successful professionals, too. Best of luck!


  1. Great article and congratulations on your new bundle of joy, Laura!

  2. Thanks, Christopher. She's cutting teeth now and keeping us on our toes. It's quite the adventure - as I'm sure you can agree!