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Back to Work After Maternity Leave

by Nikki Montgomery

Any mother can agree that going back to work after maternity leave is difficult. Leaving your babies for the first time may be the most difficult thing you've ever done. That's why it is important to choose good trustworthy daycare. 

After spending 10 weeks with my 3 daughters it was hard for me think about being away from them, but I knew they'd be well taken car of. My sister, Andi, and my friend of 27 years, Jaime, watched my oldest daughter Mia for the last 2 years and that has been wonderful. Mia has gotten different experiences at each place. At Jaime's house she gets a lot of one on one time and learning time. While at Andi's she gets lots of socializing time because my niece Riley is only 5 months younger than Mia so she learns to play well with others. 

I feared it would be a little overwhelming for them to take on the twins, but they were both excited for the opportunity. Jaime has always wanted lots of kids and always wanted twins, but her husband wanted to stop after they had 2 boys so she was happy when she had the opportunity to help me raise my daughters and super excited about the twins. Andi was confident she'd be able to handle it after having taken care of Mia and Riley so close in age. 

We are so lucky to have people who truly love our kids taking care of them. It has made coming back to work much easier for me. Don't get me wrong I have texted and called to check in on them a few times during the day, but can you blame me?

My first day back was not nearly as rough as I expected. I was so busy trying to get caught up on stuff that I barely had time to miss them. It's amazing how much you miss in 10 weeks. Meeting schedules have changed, departments have been reorganized and some balls were dropped so I had to pick them up first thing. It's going to take me a while to get back into the swing of things, but I'm glad to be back. 

I have said over and over again that if I didn't love my job so much I may not have come back. The truth is it's a combination of loving my job and having great daycare.

How do you find a great daycare?

  • Identify your needs. Do you need a daycare close to home or work? Do you need a daycare with early or late hours? Do you require a daycare equipped for special needs?
  • Ask around. If you have friends that recommend a place check it out. What's good for them may not always be good for you, but if you value their opinion you may find the perfect place.
  • Do your own research. Call the Child Care Aware hotline 800-424-2246 and they can give you information to contact your local referral agency.
  • Read online reviews. 
  • Check it out. Tour some different places and pick one that feels right to you. Meet all the teachers and visit when there are kids there.
Any other suggestions?
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