You are now just a few weeks away from going back to work after having a baby, and you are probably starting to feel a bit anxious about your first day. If you’re like me, you’ll be fantasising about finally having some adult conversation and going to the toilet by yourself. (We know it really is the little things you miss the most about work.)
At the same time, though, I was really worried about how I was physically going to get myself to work without having a tiny yoghurt handprint on my back. The reality of getting myself looking half-decent, sorting breakfast, navigating a small child to day care and then traveling to my own work all by 8AM seemed suddenly quite complicated. How does everyone else manage it? And why did I ever think getting to work before kids was such a struggle?
Sound familiar? Never fear, we have some tips to make your first commute to work run like clockwork.
So what is a dry run-through? It’s where you have a practice run through before your first day back at work. Trust us, it will take the edge off the nervousness of returning to work. Knowing you can do it and that you have time to iron out some of those kinks before your first day will make the world of difference.
Here’s our tips:
- Write down all of the steps you will need to do as part of your morning routine. Think about what you need to wear, time to shower and get ready, what your child is going to wear, breakfast, daycare bag, drop-off time and commute time. Against each of these put some approximate times against them. Then plan out which order all of these things are likely to occur, so you effectively have a bit of a schedule planned out.
- Then choose your dry run-through day. It’s probably best to do this a few weeks ahead of your first day so that you can feel comfortable with it.
- The night before, lay out as many of the things that you can prepare ahead of time. These will be things that made up your steps schedule: clothes for you and your child, day care bags ready, your bag packed with bus/train pass, swipe cards, sunglasses, reading glasses, lipstick.
- It’s now the day of your dry run-through. Try to recreate it as much as possible like it is actually your first day. And see how it goes. You will probably find that it takes a lot longer than you think, so being super-organised is the key. You can always repeat it again, if you need more practice.
Some other things that worked for us are:
- Getting up 30 minutes earlier than your kids so you can at least get yourself showered and ready without interruption.
- Take back-up wipes, nappies and tissues with you in your bag. You never know when you will need them. You’ll probably find that you are frequently wiping snot and hand prints off your work clothes.
- A lot of daycare centres also serve breakfast. So if you need to be at work early, this might be a good option to explore.
You are so ready for your first day that you can now sit back and just enjoy the fun part of adult conversation and solo bathroom time.
Written by Kate Pollard, Co-founder of Circle In