I joined work last month after 9 month long maternity break. And throughout my break I was sweating over— will I ever find myself working again QUESTION. I just couldn’t bring myself to leave my son even for a second. The thought of leaving him for 9 hours was incomprehensible. There were many moments where I felt like giving up on my work, instant where I thought I can live my life by just looking at him (my boy) and many such. So I started putting it off for as long as it was humanly possible with my manager, till I couldn’t do it anymore, and realized I have to FACE the music now. With my back against the wall I asked myself— do I want to quit Job? Hell NO— Do I love my job? Oh! Yes very much so— what is bothering me?—Leaving my baby behind—missing my baby—feeling this damn mother’s guilt.
These questions made me face the real situation and made me realize, that I have to do something about it. Quitting work was never a question—dealing with this helplessness was something I was unprepared for. After reading many stories of working women, I started preparing myself for the inevitable. And so began the journey of weaning— the hard process of weaning each other—him off me – & me off him. It wasn’t easy — I assure you, but it wasn’t that tough either.
Hence, I thought I’ll share it with all of you out there (new mommies, preggos or mothers) who are feeling or felt the same way at some point of time:
1. Rehearse your dry runs— After sorting out who will be taking care of the baby—in my case it was my mum-in-law—my husband and I did “mock practice” of what our mornings would be like getting ready for work. What time we’ll get up? What will be the feeding schedule? When will we leave for work? Who was on baby-sitting duty? We tried the schedule regularly and tweaked what wasn’t working. There were many it’s- not-working moments, but after one week it all fell down on place. And by the time I returned for real, we were old pros!
2. Feeding: I strictly breastfeed Aurko for 6 months, which is why it was more difficult to start on the formulas. After 6 months, I started giving him NAN 1 once in a day, which I eventually increased. A month before joining, I started weaning him off breast milk in the morning, and restricted it only for nights. Surprisingly, it was not that difficult.
3. Maintaining a Timetable
Babies love routines. For Aurko we have—Morning Feed time, bathing time, breakfast time, playtime, nap time, lunch time, tummy time so on and so forth. It has become a habit for Aurko to take a bath at 8.30 in the morning, and he almost pushes me towards the bathroom ones the clock ticks 8.30. What I mean is— kids have a mind of their own.
4. Mat + Toys= Joy
I am sure there still be moments when the baby is too cranky to handle by the caregiver, in moments like this follow the thumb rule--throw a mat on the floor with some of his favourite toys and sit down with him for some play time. This tip always works with Aurko, and now when I am not there, my mum-in-law does the same.
There is no substitute for a mother. So, give your full attention when you’re there, snuggle them close, make them feel loved and you are good to go. Rest, your little monkey will cope up fine while mumma is away. It’s only a matter of time, few more months and then your monkey is off to school and his friends. Don’t be anxious! He misses her more when he sees her, than when he doesn’t.