By Lynne Mueller, Head of School
A friend of mine just had a baby and is planning on going back to work shortly. The other day she stopped by to see if I could help her figure out how to manage her feelings of guilt and anxiety about the prospects of dividing her time effectively between her work and family life.
I told her there is no easy solution to this dilemma. For me, what is most important is finding an early care center that makes you feel comfortable. This center should provide your child with a high quality experience and you with the support you need to make the transition back to work as smooth as possible. The reason we designed Vivvi is because not too many of these programs exist (see our January 14th Blog on work-life balance). Vivvi provides a nurturing and inquiry-based program for children and supports adults in creating new routines. You can read more on our philosophy of “parents as partners” on our school webpage.
Even if you are a person who is jumping for joy at the prospect of once again having adult conversations and regular peaceful lunch breaks, you may still have some moments of doubt about leaving your beloved child.
Below is some advice we give to moms and dads at Vivvi to help ease any uneasiness. We also share a bit of information about how Vivvi supports our newly enrolled families:
Prior to the first day of school, schedule a meeting with the school to provide insight about your child and share any concerns you have about going back to work. At Vivvi, we welcome parent to school communication. As part of the matriculation process, families schedule meetings with the Head of School prior to enrollment and if a parent needs additional support we are always there to chat.
During the day if you are having a challenging moment, call your partner or a friend or look at a picture of your child. At Vivvi, to ease these moments, you will be receiving daily communication and photos through our use of the Brightwheel app. Seeing your child thriving each day will definitely put a smile on your face and allay transition anxieties.
Cherish the wonderful feeling you have when you see your child at the end of the day. Vivvi offers flexible pick up and drop off and we encourage you to be spontaneous if need be!
Overall, you should expect the first month at a new center to be challenging, so don’t be too hard on yourself. You are not alone in having mixed feelings about returning to work. The majority of parents experience some form of separation anxiety when they first return to work after having baby. It is normal. As soon as you see your child is flourishing in a new setting, these feelings will subside.
At Vivvi, we understand the joys and challenges of being a working parent. You will find a rhythm that works for you.