He holds the new babygro while you wrangle with that nappy – what will you do without him?! Don’t panic. When your partner’s paternity leave ends and he goes back to work, there’s plenty you can do to make the transition easier
You would definitely not be alone if your first true moment of mum doubt comes when your partner finishes his paternity leave and goes back to work.
Since day one, there’s been two of you getting to grips with a newborn together, and now suddenly he’s not there for the nine to five.
While the transition can be daunting at first, easing into this new routine is all about using the support network around you and making a whole new one along the way.
Prepare for him going back
You both know this day’s coming, so talk about any worries and how you can handle them. If you’re nervous about baby bath time on your own, try it a few times without him so you feel more savvy.
And if he wants to cut back on night feeds because he’ll have work the next day, discuss this to find a situation you’re both happy with. That way, nothing comes as too much of a shocker.
Get out and about
If you’re worried about feeling isolated, what better time to start going out with your baby and meeting other parents – you’re not the only one feeling like this.
‘Go to the local park with a coffee or find a baby group at a nearby church or community centre,’ says parenting coach and author Karen Doherty.
It gives you a good chance to share baby tips, experiences and have a natter – often with biscuits.
Make the most of your support network
Let your family and friends know you’re nervous and ask for support while you get used to your partner being back at work.
Perhaps someone can cook a few meals for you, come along to a baby group if you’re nervous or pop round for an hour while you have a sleep.
‘If you have friends in the same boat, you can help each other out – maybe get together to cook some food at someone’s house so you’re sharing the load,’ says Karen.
Keep in touch with him
And what about him? Well, if he’s concerned about missing out on time with your baby, keep in touch during the day – it’ll be nice for you, too.
Perhaps plan to speak on the phone at lunchtime, so it’s planned and won’t interrupt his work.
Even send him photos or videos of your little one. What’s the point of having a techy phone if you’re not going to use it, eh?