Earlier this year, I went back to work after spending 15 months at home with my daughter and a handful of various foster babies. After more than a year out of the work force, I finally felt like my brain was ready to tackle more than diapers and bottles. Once I got a job, there were so many things I thought I had to do before going back to work after having my baby. It turns out, only half of them were truly necessary (or even possible).
After more than a year away from my work writing and blogging, I craved using my brain for more than just creating baby schedules. Both my partner and I felt our daughter was ready for the socialization of daycare. I took this awesome job writing part-time, and picked up another part-time role working with ELL students at a local school teaching and tutoring English. Life was about to get super busy very quickly, and I knew I had to get all of us prepared. My list was long and ambitious for the short period of time before I had to start working and my daughter had to start daycare. From rearranging our household duties to weaning her from her pacifier, some of the things we needed to do were more realistic than others. For instance, creating more hours in the day might have been a little aspirational, to say the least.
What I've learned, however, is that no matter how much of your to-do list you manage to check off before you start work, there's still going to be a transition period. So, for all you moms heading back to work soon, here's what I thought I had to do before I started again that you are, in no way, obligated to finish before that big day. In the end, you do what you can do, and leave the rest to work itself out.