With the UK government starting to ease lockdown rules, many are starting to return work once more. While this may sound like good news for many, this is a different story for mums.
Although the past few months have been unique, staying at home has had its share of perks, too, for mums in relation to the time spent with their children. But now that you have to return to work, it's easy to feel anxious about how this change will affect your bond with your children, especially if they are still babies.
If you're experiencing return anxiety, don't fret, as you are capable of dealing with it, while continuing to build your relationship with your little one.
Communicate Effectively with Your Manager
It's vital to first have a conversation with your manager where you'll express your concerns. Whether it's worrying about your baby throughout the day or wondering how safe it is to be back in the office, openly communicating with your manager will take off the heavy feeling of anxiety from your shoulders. This can range from half days to bringing the baby into the office. If you’re still breastfeeding organise a room for privacy if your office doesn’t already have one. Being proactive in finding solutions with your company will help you alleviate your anxiety of returning to work.
Prioritise Time With Your Little One
As mentioned above, after spending a lot of time with your little one, one of the biggest worries will be reducing that time once you go back to work. This is why no matter how busy things are, you must spend time with your baby as much as possible within your work schedule. A great way to incorporate more bonding time together is starting your day by giving them a massage. As Viv Allen previously shared here, massaging your baby will help foster a healthy bond because it's the first sense they develop. In this way, your baby will feel much closer to you, while also helping you relax before you leave for work.
Eye contact has been found by researchers at Cambridge University to be especially important for communication, learning and secure attachment, as well as being beneficial for the mental health of parents. One of the best times to do this is while taking your baby outside in their pushchair. If you are leaving your young child at a day-care you can do this before you go to the office, or if you are allowed to take your baby in you can do this during your lunch break. To this end, the prams on iCandy show how many models can be configured to have your baby facing you, which is recommended for their early years and will help you increase eye contact. By always making time for your child you won’t be racked with the anxiety that you are not providing enough physical contact for their development.
Be Kind to Yourself
As your child's primary carer, mums tend to put too much pressure on themselves. In fact, The Telegraph reveals that 21% of mums feel guilty all the time. Ideally, you'd like to be with your baby all the time. However, it's important to remember that we're living in unprecedented times. And you're doing what's best for your family by helping secure their future. If the pressure gets to you during work, you should consider practising stress relief techniques. Women's Health recommends the "4-7-8" breathing method, as it positively changes the chemistry of your body and mind.