Family Adjusting to Mom Going Back to Work

by Ann Douglas

Balancing Work and FamilyHave you recently returned to work after maternity leave and your happy, well-behaved one-year-old is now whiny and seems sad all the time?

Is this natural? What can you do to help with the adjustment?

Going back to work is an adjustment for the entire family.

While toddlers need a chance to adjust -- particularly if they've been at home full-time with mom or dad -- there's a difference between going through a period of transition and being unhappy all the time.

How do you feel about the quality of care your child is receiving while you're at work?

Does your child seem to be forming a connection with his caregiver?

Not every childcare arrangement is necessarily a match made in heaven. If you don't feel that this is the right childcare arrangement for your child, trust your gut instinct and consider making a change.

If you feel your toddler simply needs more time to adjust, then try to minimize your outside commitments for the next few months so that you can spend as much time as possible with your child during your non-working hours. Do your best to meet that need for "mommy time" right now.

What's worked for you and your family?

Ann Douglas is the author of numerous books about pregnancy and parenting including the bestselling "The Mother of All Pregnancy Books." She regularly contributes to a number of print and online publications, is frequently quoted in the media on a range of parenting-related topics, and has appeared as a guest on a number of television and radio shows. Ann and her husband Neil live in Peterborough, Ontario. with the youngest of their four children. Learn more at her site,

Copyright © Ann Douglas. Permission to publish granted to