My Daughter’s Suggestions For How To Survive First Day Back At Work

I’ve started preparing my kids for my upcoming return to legal work. Sadie, who’s familiar with the “jitters” because Fancy Nancy’s little sister JoJo had then before she started school, asked me if I had a case of the jitters.

After making a mental note to stop hating on Fancy Nancy, because LOOK! She taught Sadie the word “jitters,” I decided I would take her question seriously.  Turns out,  my little Sadie has lots of great suggestions on how I can sooth myself if I start missing her and Simon when I’m at my new job.

Here’s how it went:

Sadie: Do you have the jitters, mom?

Me: Sadie, that’s a good question. I do have the jitters. What should I do?

Sadie: You should remember that you’ll always come home at the end of the day.

Me:  But what if I miss you and Simon and Daddy while I’m at work?

Sadie:  You could take a plate with Willie Nelson’s picture on it to work. You love Willie Nelson. And you would be happy when you eat your lunch and see his face.

Me:  What a great idea.  But, I’m fresh out of Willie Nelson-themed dishes. Maybe I’ll take some pictures of you all to put on my desk.

Sadie:  I know! I can draw you a picture of myself so you can look at it when you miss me. I’ll make a girl with curly hair so you know it’s me.

Me:  That’s a great idea.

Sadie: But sometimes you’re just going to feel sad and that’s ok too. I’ll have lots of hugs for you when you get home.

Me: That’s a deal.

Sadie drawing for me: Girl With Curly Hair

Sadie drawing for me: Girl With Curly Hair

* * *

Now my brief case and business casual wardrobe have been dusted off! I’ve got pictures my kids to help me transition from mostly full-time mom to part-time mom/part-time lawyer.

Anyone returned to work have other transition suggestions for me? I’m all ears!

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56 thoughts on “My Daughter’s Suggestions For How To Survive First Day Back At Work

  1. Congrats – both on the return to work and the extra hugs you managed to get out of the deal as well. For me, it helped if I could extend help (wether it’s daycare/school or a sitter) beyond the work day sometimes so that my two options weren’t only “home with kids” or “at work” With the overlap I could every once in a while do something just for me.

  2. I got through the transition knowing it was the best thing for our family. The first holiday break when Montessori was out I knew it was the right choice but by the end I was ready to go back to work and Kate back to school. You’ll know. And honestly, even the drive to work is downtime for me- get it where you can!

  3. Wow, what big and exciting news! I have no words of wisdom, other than Sadie’s and those found in Willie Nelson lyrics, but you probably already know those. (Do you know the song “Poncho and Lefty?” Probably my favorite of his.)

    Good luck, girl. I’ll be thinking of you rocking your Ann Taylor Loft!

  4. You are such a rock star, happy first day back! I don’t know about transitioning back to work after being at home full time for awhile, but I am quite familiar with transitions in general, having had my fair share over the past couple months. The best advice is just to leap. And if you are leaping in a brand new Ann Taylor Loft wardrobe with pictures drawn by your kids, so much the better.

  5. That’s pretty freaking adorable. Also, you should know that I’m still very much reading your blog even though I don’t always comment. It’s one of my favorites and one of the few I never mark as read.

  6. Ooh exciting – good luck! I’ve just started to ponder what life would look like if I returned to work, so I’ll look forward to hearing how it goes for you. All good, I hope!

  7. Yay, congrats! How was it? One thing I did was to allow myself to work for 1-2 hours every night, guilt free, after baby went to bed for a month or so until I regained my footing. For me, that meant slacking off on housekeeping (even more than normal) and relying even more heavily on frozen food / take out (sorry DH) and not being making elaborate weekend plans (friends forgive). Having those extra hours gave me confidence that I could get a handle on work stuff but with the comfort of knowing this wouldn’t be a forever habit. The other thing I did was lay out work outfits for the whole week, including accessories, undies and hose, just to have one less mental distraction when I was supposed to be a loving and attentive Mommy. That also helped me get out the door quick with a tried-n-true, confidence-boosting outfit. Once I made the transition, I went back to picking outfits in the morning and trying new combos because I could afford the occasional “oops, that looked better in my head than in real life but hey too late to now!”

    • These are awesome suggestions! I love every single one of them. And boy do I need them. This morning I needed the extra time to snuggle and help with breakfast not find the right outfit. Luckily when the boss is out we can wear jeans and today was a jean day.

      You may be a genuis. Thanks for helping me get on my feet.

  8. Congrats on getting back into the workforce! Sadie’s suggestions were so sweet.Now repeat to yourself: I will NOT cry, I will NOT cry.

  9. “Anyone returned to work have other transition suggestions for me?”

    Um, Valium and Paxil? But seriously, it’s probably one of the hardest things, going back to work and figuring out this mythical theory of “work-life balance.” (If you’re seeking the perfect work-life balance, you might as well be hunting unicorns.) The first few days (or weeks, if you’re me) will undoubtedly be filled with tears, anxiety, doubt and probably, three fingers of scotch at the end of each day. Some pictures of the kid-os (and husband), along with some inspirational quotes fill my desk, reminding me of my purpose (why am I putting up with these whiny, arrogant clients again?), seem to do the trick.

    Best of luck to you, and I truly love your blog. I’m so glad I stumbled up on it.

    • Thank you! I appreciate the affirmation and also love the tips. I have the pictures and some Advil and some lotion….and some tears and TONS Of anxiety. And after the first day, I have literally never seen my kids so happy. Either the nanny doped them up or they are happy to have some space from dear old mom.

  10. I have no advice. I am superduperexpialijealous.

    I know that stay-at-home moms often envy those with part-time jobs and full-time-outside-the-home moms often envy those with part-time jobs, and I know that moms with part-time jobs still have just as hard a time as all of us at getting things done and being humans and balancing the tears and the guilt and the frustration and the “am I doing the right thing?” all that. But I know you’ll be great, I know your kids will be great, and from my corner of the world, your new job is the holy grail of all things I want right now.

    So forgive the pressure this will put on you, but lawyer the shit out of it, would ya?!
    😉

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