All the things to plan on packing in your bag when you head back to work.
Sometimes the hardest part about motherhood isn’t the act of giving birth, or the struggles of intuiting another human’s every need, or learning, together, how to breastfeed through tongue ties (or to opt for formula when that’s what works for you). Sometimes the hardest part about motherhood is creating an incredibly strong bond with your infant, only to have to return to work once you’ve finally fallen into sync.
Whether work is a part of your livelihood, a necessary contribution to your household, or a piece of your life that gives it all meaning and purpose, or a business that you birthed and nurtured just as you did your child--and whether that return to work looks like 6 weeks or 12 weeks or 12 months postpartum--it doesn’t matter. Because heading back to work can look a lot the same for all of us, tears included.
But, some good news: tears aren’t what we’re here for. ToteSavvy is the literal silver lining turning the ultra-chaotic world of parenting into some idea of order. Because if your morning starts with plans to get to a day at the office and daycare, respectively, that’s going to mean there are two giant bags to pack--and you’re going to want to do it thoughtfully, and methodically (especially if you’ll be pumping at work).
The most important things to pack for returning to the office after baby, from the women who’ve done it too.
“Homemade oatmeal & flax granola bars (both promote lactation) in silicone reusable bag and lip salve.” --Aisling, @aisling_mcdonagh
“Baby wipes, rubber bands (impromptu, makeshift, hands-free for pumping if you end up having to work while taking a pump break), travel size Aquafor for chapped spots, Chatbook of favorite baby pictures to flip through when you're missing your kiddos.” --Becca, @beccamoo1091
“For me: hand sanitizer, hair ties, a small pouch with makeup, comb, hand cream, small travel size perfume and deo, bandaids, snack bar, small ziplock of nuts, pen, sanitary napkin/tampon, sunglasses, [and] nail file.” --Neha, @neha_chinai
“My most essential things to pack once I returned to work were my pump parts and bags for the milk. I can not tell you how often I showed up to work without the Lansinoh bags!” --Deb, @prenatalyogacenter
"When I went back to work, I was a wreck. My son was born with Down Syndrome and I was so worried. So I filled my bag with self-care items to use when I was feeling stressed like roller-ball essential oils, healthy protein snacks... It's what inspired my company, Acorn & Oak, and now I never leave home without one of our travel-sized weighted blankets--so easy to take to work, and so helpful in combating the stress that parenting invokes." --Shelly, @acornandoakbyshellyrosenberg
“I gotta say - my hormones made me sweat. I had organic rosewater spray in my bag for a delightful refresh and to make myself feel lovely.” --Michelle, @radicallyselfish
“I *always* packed running shoes just in case could get even a 10-15 minute jog in before picking up my babies!!!” --Rosey, @roseyolivero
“Always always hand sanitizer. [And] wipes. You find uses for them far beyond your baby! I would take off pigmented lipstick before dousing my babies with kisses.” --Laura, @laurasiegel_nyc
“Tissues: [the] transition back to work can be emotionally difficult and having tissues on hand for the sad moments helped.” --Kristy, @kristyawallace and @ellevate_ntwk
“My back to work routine revolved around pumping… A plastic gallon Ziploc with four 8oz. Medela bottles and all the pumping parts. The bag made for spill-proof transport home at the end of the day and sanitary storage in the work fridge…” --Miriam, @heybloomwell
“As a busy mom, I don't know how I lived and stayed organized without my ToteSavvy. I tell everyone I know that they need to get one. Whether its for personal, business or being a mom, it's the perfect addition to keeping me organized and on top of my game. Especially when it comes to me working. I can easily switch from mom life to work life and not feel flustered. It's the best invention, not to mention the quality is amazing and the colors and sizes are perfect." --Gabrielle, @gabriellemilford
What’s often an inevitable return to the office can sometimes be daunting. And, because you’re not just packing a bag for yourself anymore--but making room for pump parts, small toys, snacks for now and later, and the list, as we know, goes on--you’ll welcome the structure that ToteSavvy brings to not just your bag, but your life.