Helping you cope
A job near your home is a great advantage and is possibly even worth a cut in salary. Knowing that you can get home quickly in an emergency or in the middle of the day and that you do not have to spend hours in unproductive and expensive travel every day is a big plus.
If you are going to change jobs, think of the time your child will be going to nursery school. If you can drop her off on your way to work you will be saving time and money.
Whatever child care arrangement you make, you must keep in mind that when she gets older, you will be faced with school holidays when most nursery schools close.
Try to work for the enlightened firms that allow flexitime. You could then arrange to pick up your child and settle her into an afternoon routine if she is not in all-day care.
Muster all the friendly resources you can. Family, neighbours, lonely housewives, surrogate grannies, anyone of goodwill should be approached and filled in on your child’s programme, even if it is just to give your regular caretaker an afternoon free. They should have a list of contact numbers and details of your child’s routine. Reciprocate with treats for them â” tickets for a show or some other tangible sign of your appreciation.
Women who intend to go back to work often ask whether they should breast feed at all. You may think it would be better to get your baby â˜settled’ on the bottle right from the beginning, but this is not so. Your child will benefit from the unique properties of your milk even if you feed her for only a few weeks. But more important, it will give you a chance to develop a particularly close relationship with her, and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are giving her a good, secure start. You can also, if you breast feed, continue to give one or two feeds a day after your return to work so that your baby can continue to benefit and you can enjoy the feeling of doing something very special for her. See p. 98 for breast feeding while working.