I’m not going to lie to you; there’s no way to go back to work full time and leave your little bundle of joy in someone else’s care without a few pangs, but here are five ways you can shed some of the guilt on your way out the door:
- Write yourself a note for your bulletin board, your dashboard, your laptop or your pocket. Not unlike Homer Simpson’s reminder, covered with pictures of baby Maggie, remind yourself to “do it for her,” or him, or them. Chances are you’re going to work for a paycheck and a career, both will help you to be a better parent and to provide for your children’s future.
2. If this is your first baby, and you’ve been quite literally attached to him since birth, plan some practice runs in the weeks before you return to work. This is a good opportunity for your childcare provider and you to become comfortable before you’re at the office a full day. Use this opportunity take care of yourself. Get a haircut, a massage or a pedicure.
3. Realize that you’re not alone; Michelle Obama, Katie Couric and Angelina Jolie have all left their children to go to work. See, you do have something in common with them. And I guarantee that even they had terrible mornings or moments where they just wanted to give up and go home.
4. Find a community of working moms from whom you can get advice, vent frustrations or find solutions to balancing work and family. If you can’t find one in your community or industry, start one.
5. Try to find a blog post from a guy, or a guy you know who can share the story of the guilt they felt in leaving their little ones to go to work. What’s that? Can’t find one? When all else fails, think like a guy, and go out for a beer on the way home.