As a working mom or dad, you’ve got a lot on your plate. It can be really emotional to go back to work after being home with your baby during your maternal or paternal leave, but ultimately it is for the best as you transition back into a more normal routine. Many parents worry that spending less time with their babies will result in a loss of their deep connection. But this is untrue. Plenty of parents work and still form strong bonds with their babies.
If you feel like you are missing key bonding experiences with your baby, simply step back. And examine how you can spend more quality time together. Here are some ways of doing this without dramatically changing your schedule and lifestyle.
Let Bedtime Be Flexible
It’s always disappointing when you get home from work a little late and your baby has already been put down to sleep. While you are juggling both a newborn and work, give yourself a little bit of slack when it comes to bedtime. Ask your partner to wait to put them to sleep until you get home and then you can be the one to sit with them as they fall asleep in their baby bassinet.
Do Household Chores While the Baby is Asleep
At the end of a long day in the office, it is much better to come home and spend quality time with your baby than waste an hour in the kitchen cooking or doing chores. As much as possible, try to wake up early when the baby is still sleeping an prepare meals or get some of the household duties like laundry done. If you have the budget for it, you could even hire a part-time cleaner or cook to lend a hand with the difficult chores. Especially while you are balancing your work life with a newborn.
Leave Work at Work
While it’s really challenging for most of us, it’s essential to leave your work at work. From the moment you step foot in your house, let that be time spent relaxing and spending time with your little one. Your attention should be completely devoted to your baby. When you are in their presence, so don’t let your work overtake your life. A good tip for this is to lock your phone away while you are spending time with your baby. So that you aren’t tempted to check work emails or texts from your colleagues.
Make Feedings Feel Special
Skin-to-skin contact is one of the best ways to bond with your baby. So don’t rush through their feedings because you are in a hurry. Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle-feeding your baby, you can make this time a special experience for both of you as you cuddle. Set up a very comfy chair, light some candles, play relaxing music, and enjoy this moment of bonding with your baby.
Have Your Baby Join in Your Activities
While there are certain places you won’t want to bring your baby, like a fancy restaurant, there are plenty of ways to take them along for most of your daily activities. For example, instead of going to an exercise class alone, try walking with your baby in the morning. And taking them to a parent and baby exercise class at night. On the weekends, you can explore fun places like the zoo, botanical gardens, and parks with your baby. With all of these, you can relieve stress and stay physically active while being in the company of your baby. This time being in new environments and seeing new faces is also a fun and important developmental experience for your baby.