Relaunch expert Carol Fishman Cohen helps me prepare my kids for the back to work transition

A Relauncher Asks: “1 week until my relaunch! Any wisdom for easing my preschool aged kids’ transition as I go from SAHM of 5 years to working full time?”

By Carol Fishman Cohen

We just received this great question on our LinkedIn group from relauncher Vicki Harrison, who is about to return to a full-time role at Stanford University School of Medicine after five years at home. She is also the founder of The Flex Frontier website which provides resources for those seeking flexible work. Here’s my answer:

Vicki: Thanks for asking this question! You want to get your preschoolers invested alongside you when you return to work so here are some thoughts on how to involve them:

  • Get a tote bag, briefcase or backpack and ask them to help you put things in it that you will need when you go to work on your first day, the same way you helped them pack their backpacks for preschool.  Put in whatever they suggest without questioning the choices.
  • Ask them to help you pick out what you are going to wear on your first day of work or give them two choices and ask which they like best.
  • Ask them to make you something special that you can keep on your desk at work and tell them you are going to think of them every time you look at it.
  • See if you can bring them by your new workplace, even if you can’t go inside, and take a picture of it. Then go by their preschool and take a picture of that too. Create charts called “My Day” – one for you and one for each of them. Put the photo of your work on the top of your chart and the photo of their school at the top of their charts.  At the end of each day, when you get home, write down something from your day that happened. Then ask them to dictate something from their day that you write on their charts. Use what you wrote as the beginning of a conversation about your days at work and school.
  • Try to build up the happy excitement with them as the day approaches.

I hope this helps you and your preschoolers get off to a great start when you return to work!

Thank you Carol! For more great advice and resources like this, visit

Photo credit: marboston / Foter / CC BY-ND

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