How to Return To Work Like a Boss… Or Not

Sooo… yeah. I survived my first week back to work. Kind of. I mean, I managed to actually make it to work 4 days in a row. Not in any kind of timely manner or anything. There was also working. And also staring a computer thinking about working. So I consider that a success, but I’ve also given myself a little room to improve.

The first day was a disaster. I expected Dan to wake me up after he showered. However, Dan thought I was awake (nope, dead to the world asleep). So that didn’t end well. Instead I woke up at 7:30 when the kids came in to say goodbye. Umm say what? I made them stick around until I took the quickest shower possible.


After that it only took me another hour and a half to leave my house. There’s a black hole of time that occurs when you have a baby. I have no idea what took me so long (and is still taking me so long!) to get out of my house, but I wasn’t just sitting around eating bon bons are anything.

Daycare drop off was hard. Is still hard. Every day. Were you expecting me to say it was fun? Thankfully, Evan is going to the same home daycare that Livie went to when she was a baby. It’s easier when you know the provider and consider her a friend. But yeah, it’s still pretty hard. Especially when this face is so cute and smushy…

I have to say I’m very thankful that my boss is a) a mom and b) knows what it’s like to return after an extended absence, so she wrote me a really nice email welcoming me back last week. There wasn’t a lot of pressure to get in at any specific time and while I have things to work on, there aren’t any massive or looming deadlines. Of course, that also makes me think “Damn, I could have taken another month.” but then I check my bank account and I think, “Damn, I really like my paycheck.” I also REALLLY like shopping. And I kinda actually do like my job.

So, I’m slowly getting back into work. The first day everything seemed foreign to me. I feel lucky that I remembered my computer login (it helped that I had to log in and sign my time sheet each week)! By day three I was remembered projects specifics and I got all of my projects back. Which…is a good thing?



My motto. Not really.

Honestly, anything that keeps me busy at work is a good thing. If not, I sit around and think, “WHY AM I HERE???”

Also helping my return is knowing that Dan will be home with the little guy on Wednesdays. We met for lunch this Wednesday and it’s amazing how just seeing this little face can make my day.

Got to see my bub at lunch today #happy

Don’t focus on the hot mess that is me, focus in on the cute baby.

I do feel like most of my day is spent pumping. Truthfully, it’s only about and hour of my day, but it feels all-consuming and like it interferes with other parts of my life. Like leaving the house. Right now I’m pumping 4 times a day. Once in the morning after E eats/before I leave, and 3 times at work. At some point I will transition to pumping twice at work, but right now I want to make sure I am keeping up with E’s growing demand. And, SURPRISE!, that boy can eat.


My nemesis.

I’m also pretty thankful that the rest of my family is tolerating me during this transition time. The kids have been as patient as possible (although, B is not super excited that I am now picking him up from camp – ha ha) and Dan has only rolled his eyes at me twice. To my face.

E has been adjusting to everything as well. For the most part, he’s taken all of the changes like a champ, although he is fighting sleep a little more than usual at bedtime…

What up, yo. I should be sleeping.

Post-run snuggles. He's supposed to be sleeping, but I think he misses his mama.

Mommy time is more important than sleep. Even if she’s sweaty.

However, once he’s out he usually gives me a good 6-7 hour stretch of sleep – which is really nice! I am TRYING to get in bed no more than an hour later so I can get a big chunk of sleep before he wakes up to eat (he gets up once or twice), but the reality is that I rarely go to bed before 11. Which means I’m tired.


The worst part about being tired is it cuts down on my ability to have complete thoughts and the ability to talk to other people.



I’m also on a forgetful streak. I haven’t forgotten where I live or my kids or anything, but I did completely forget my cooler of milk (aka liquid gold) on my desk tonight. I planned on driving back up to work after the kids were in bed to get it, but thankfully my boss emailed me and she was still at work and she saved me the trip by putting it back in the fridge. I’m pretty sure I’d forget my head if weren’t attached.

But in the end, I made it. I survived the week and now I have three days to recover. Or drink a lot. Or what I really want to do right now… sleep.

If you need me…Zzzzzzzz.


  1. says

    So much of this sounds sooo familiar! I do envy you though because my little one is still loving the every two hour feedings at night. Which I suppose between 11-5am when I’m actually trying to sleep only equates to 2 feedings but still. Going back to work is hard wether you like your job, money, or adult time, still hard. The black hole that is the morning, I feel that too. Seriously doesn’t matter if I’m up at 5 or 4:30 I somehow manage to get out the door 5-10 minutes late everyday. Don’t even get me started on pumping…there’s nothing fun about it but it’s dedication! Glad to hear you have an understanding boss and things went as smooth as could be expected :).
    Carissa recently posted..Ride Across Indiana 2013 (R.A.I.N.)

    • says

      Pumping is SO about dedication! It has really paid off for me with the other kids (they have amazing immune systems) — so I know it’s worth it. Just 10 more months. Lol.

      Livie liked to wake up and eat often – so I feel you. I think part of it was that she was so damn active. She hit her motor skills waaaaaay earlier than Braeden. I wouldn’t be surprised if your little guy is the same way!

  2. says

    You’re awesome! I can imagine how rough the first week back can be. That’s great that your boss is so understanding though. What is your job, by the way? Just curious, totally understand if you don’t want to answer! And can I just say how ADORABLE that polo onesie is?! Is it Carter’s?
    Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries recently posted..In Loving Memory

    • says

      I’m instructional designer – which translate to someone who designs, develops, and evaluates training courses/programs.

      The polo outfit is Carter’s by Target! I love it too. I think it was only $8. What’s sad is that it’s a 6 month outfit and he’s already filling it out!!

  3. Melissa says

    I saw your tweet about the milk on the desk–glad your boss took care of that! :) I can’t imagine what a strange transition it must be. Good work, lady! Enjoy the weekend.

    • says

      Yes – I’m so glad she was working late (even though I felt bad that she was working late!). My brain is still at home — hopefully it will return to work too at some point.

  4. says

    Thanks for this great post! I’m excited for Baby’s arrival and my maternity leave, but I am already dreading my return to work. That is probably not a good thing! However, things are what they are and I’m sure I’ll need to make some adjustments! We are lucky to have plenty of family able to help us this time around (for future babies, I don’t know if we’ll be as lucky) so I’m going to enjoy that as much as I can. :) Thanks for another great post full of good tips and advice!
    Kelly @ Running Kellometers recently posted..ABCs About Me

    • says

      My blog always thinks your comments are spam. Silly blog!

      How long are you taking off once the baby arrives? I swear maternity leave – no matter how long you have – goes by in a blip of an eye. I only had 6 weeks paid at 60% and then vacation/sick time that I had saved up, which gave me an extra 3 weeks. This is actually the most time I’ve been able to take! I wish I had a good 4 months instead of the 2 I got – it’s hard to go back when the baby is truly still a newborn. There’s a lot of stuff that hasn’t been established yet – like naps and a feeding schedule.

      I definitely recommend taking it slow when you go back – either start part time or take Fridays off or something to ease yourself back in (although, I know everyone can’t do this!).

      But for now, focus on enjoying your pregnancy and that sweet baby!

      • says

        I seem to be having that issue a lot lately! It must be something with my work computer…

        For my maternity leave, I’m getting 6-8 weeks paid leave and then I can take up to an additional 2 weeks negative PTO. Then, I’ll be back at work full time. I’m the “breadwinner” in our family so we can’t afford for me to take any unpaid leave, unfortunately. With the holidays coming soon after, hopefully I can sneak a “work from home” day in there somewhere. But, the hubs is in construction and work slows down for him right as I’ll be going back to work so he should be able to pick up where I left off. Thankfully we have lots of family that will be able to help out for a little while so that puts me at ease a little bit.

        I’m now officially 31 weeks, only single digits left! Ahh! So excited for Baby’s arrival! I’m trying to enjoy these last few weeks together before our lives change forever. :)
        Kelly @ Running Kellometers recently posted..ABCs About Me

  5. Susi says

    I still have “mommy” brain and get forgetful even though my youngest is now 4 – but trying to keep schedules for three kids straight and working on top of that can be draining! I’m amazed how you do it all. I was home with my kids up until the beginning of summer… and it’s been a transition. E is super adorable and I can totally understand that it would be hard to leave him at daycare even if you are familiar with where you bring him. Hope you have an easier time this week!
    Susi recently posted..Instagram Sunday (July 21)

    • says

      Mommy brain is REAL and I don’t think it ever really goes away! I’m lucky that my kids don’t really have much of a schedule right now (I nixed any kind of commitment this summer because I knew I might combust), but this fall is going to be interesting! I bet it was quite a transition going back to work! I don’t think it matters if the kids are big or little. Change is hard!

      This week has already been better! I still can’t wait until Friday though :)

  6. says

    Your boss sounds awesome and I’m glad the first week back went ok. I wondered about pumping. Plus, I like your pump a lot better than mine. I don’t have that handy dandy little compact thing – mine’s attached to the whole bag!! (I guess that’s why yours is called freestyle haha). E is so darn cute!!! I can’t wait to see what graphic clips you have in the future (they made my day haha)
    char eats greens recently recap and a 30 minute interval run

    • says

      I used the pump you had for the two other kids! Honestly, it works just as well (and I’ve heard reports that it works better and the motor lasts longer). I knew I had to buy a new one this time (the motor was on it’s last legs) and ended up buying it *slightly* used from a friend (unfortunately breastfeeding didn’t work for her!). Otherwise, I probably would have just bought the same one!

      I kind of love searching for funny gifs. I thank all of the other bloggers I am “copying” for introducing them to me. Ha ha.

    • says

      Yes – it’s mom brain and it’s WORSE than pregnancy brain. Sometimes I’m just going, going, going and when I stop for a minute I have to really think about what I was just doing. Lol.

  7. says

    I just returned to work this past Monday; easier the 2nd time around, but probably due to the fact that the hubs is now a stay-at-home dad. I forgot my milk once with my first on the kitchen counter overnight and literally cried over spilled (well spoiled) milk:-( It gets easier, right?
    Gina recently posted..Back to Work!

    • says

      I’m kind of jealous that your husband is a stay-at-home-dad! Dan is home with E on Wednesdays and it’s always a better/easier day. I looooove our daycare lady, but it’s not the same.

      I’m on week 4 now and it’s still hard, but at least I’m leaving the house a little earlier. My brain is still not “on the job” 100%, but it’s getting there. It’s taken a lot longer this time to “wake up.” I have no idea why – maybe because E is such an easy baby? Or because I know he’s my last baby? Whatever the reason, it’s kicking my butt!

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