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Going Back to Work

Top Answers From our Readers:

I just went through this on Monday! I started back at work today. My suggestion for coping with going back to work after maternity leave is to have your little one go to daycare a few days before you go back to work, so it’s not so much on one day for both of you. I was a wreck on Monday; literally cried all day, and couldn’t imagine that I had to go to work right after. Yesterday, it was a little easier to drop her off, and today was even better.

I still miss her tons, but having her go a few days before was the best decision I made. I was able to get more familiar with the teachers and the daycare center too in those two days and it really helped put my mind at ease knowing that she is in terrific hands.

Also, don’t be afraid to call them and check in on your LO too. If they are open to texting you pictures and updates as well throughout the day, even better! As much as it pains me that I need to send her there rather than be home with her, I think of it as good socialization for her to be around other babies and toddlers, and she is going to learn so much from the teachers too. Good luck, Mama!!

Nina Nigro Thomas

Take really good food/coffee with you and enjoy the fact that you can eat/drink/pee by yourself at work. 🙂

Sarah Nolan

I recommend the ripping the band-aid off quickly the first day approach, which does not seem to be very popular based on everyone else’s comments. It worked for me. I wanted every single second I had with my daughter before having to take her to daycare that first day back. The first day was terrible, but it’s coming no matter what you do and no matter if you do some half days before or not. The thing I DO recommend is maybe starting your return on a Wednesday. A shorter first work week will make the full days back more bearable. And it DOES get easier!

. Pamela Webb Elliott

You will cry, but it’s okay. Have your husband drop off your baby if possible so you can say your goodbye at home. The first day is by far the hardest, and although I still don’t love that my daughter (8 mos) has to go to daycare every day, it does get easier. She loves it and I know it’s good for her to spend time with other kids!

Shannon Grove

It’s harder on you than it is on them!

Sarah Parker Bristow

Honestly, it sucks. But the first 2-4 weeks are hardest. Then you learn to appreciate your adult time, using your brain, and you cherish the time with your kids. I also think my kids are much better behaved and have way more fun spending time with other kids and other adults at daycare. It WILL be fine. Just not at first, so take a tissue and have some photos with you.

Jennifer Junkin

My husband does the drop-off and I do the pick-up, so I never have to deal with morning tears, just afternoon smiles. 🙂

Lindsay Beckord Jovanovich

See all the answers here.


  1. I went through this. Cried before the big day came and cried EVERY SINGLE DAY afterwards. I would even cry on Sunday just thinking about having to leave my daughter again. For some of us it never does get easier. I gave it a good try but the emotional beating I was taking just wasn’t worth it. After a year and a half of this I finally quit and found something to do at home to help out with our finances. You might find that you have to make big adjustments to your budget and leave work. Or maybe you could find part time work? I’m sorry I don’t have better advice, but for me it was pure hell to work away from my daughter.

  2. When I went back to work after my first child it was absolute torture. I work on a team that was not necessarily receptive to the fact I might be sad – none of them have children. It was during these first very sad days that I met a few other mothers in our Mother’s Room (for pumping) who were going through the same thing. Bottom line, don’t be afraid to be sad and seek out people who will understand.
    I am pregnant with baby #2 (due 12/4/14) and it is my goal to go back to work with a brave face and enjoy every minute of it. Unfortunately, going back to work is a must and if it weren’t for this job (that steals you away from your precious child) you wouldn’t have the funds to spoil them on your days off!!
    I wish you the very best of luck. Keep smiling 🙂

  3. We have the really good fortune of having a nanny so we don’t have the dropping off drama. I eased into my transition back to work by having our nanny start working part-time long before I went back and she started full-time two weeks before I went back. This allowed me to take small steps to work towards leaving my baby all day. I left her for longer and longer periods until the big day arrived and I returned to work. My first day I worked a half day and it was a total non-event. No one was in tears in the morning and everyone was happy when I got home. Having a nanny is definitely a luxury so if it’s not in the cards for you, still try to figure out some way to work towards leaving your baby all day so it’s not a complete shock when you have your first day back. (Can you trade off with a neighbor or other new mom in your area, perhaps?)

  4. I start back at work tomorrow and am leaving my 6-week old with his daddy for the day. I am an emotional wreck, been crying all day. Going to try to power through this.

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