By Larisa Hammond, APRN-FNP, MSN
For many parents work is an outlet for creative expression, as well as an opportunity to connect with, and collaborate with other adults. Before the baby, you were probably a successful, fulfilled, working adult. It is no secret – especially for first-time parents – that having a baby, is amazing and challenging. Where you were once confident in your life, you are now learning a completely new (and exhausting) role that comes with new challenges and wonders every day.
Unlike work, parenting lacks professional evaluations, or raises, and sometimes even adult contact. And even though you love being a parent, many women and men find that they miss the workplace, coworkers, and role they had separate from parenting.
Sharing this feeling does not diminish, in any way, the love that you feel for your baby! Maintaining a space where you feel happy and fulfilled is not only necessary for your well-being, but for your baby’s as well.
Work does come with a lot to manage. It is necessary to have open conversations with your co-parent about home and baby care, such as shopping, cooking, bathing, and laundry. You’ll need to figure out the answers to questions likes: Is your job flexible? Will you be able to take time off when your baby is sick? Do you travel for work? How will this affect your family? Is daycare available and affordable? Can you bring your baby to work?
Whatever your decision is, wanting to go back to work is normal, and the time you spend with your baby will be special. There will be times when you will have misgivings about your decision, just as there will be times when stay-at-home parents will have misgivings about their decisions too. Doubts are normal.
The important thing is that all children thrive with parents who shower them with love and attention, whether they work outside the home or not.