Is it time to kiss maternity leave goodbye?

Returning to work after having a baby is a time of mixed emotions, whether you are going back after a few months, a year, or longer.  Guilt usually plays a big factor for many moms, but you need to put it in perspective and remember that happy moms mean happy babies. Going back to work has many positives, such as allowing you to have grown-up conversations again, and allowing you to feel W

Childcare

Surely you’ll do your due diligence when searching for a child care provider, but when it comes to getting back into the working routine, no amount of planning will make it problem free. Aim to start your childcare a day or two early to get into practice, ensure that your baby is happy an comfortable, and for you get used to being baby-free again. 

Backup Plans

At some point, your baby will be ill, and alternative care arrangements might be necessary. If possible, arrange with your job for you to have the ability to take time off at short notice if the need arises. If not, have a friend or family member as your emergency backup. Have this planned before you go back to work, and be sure to keep tabs on when your backup may not be available. 

Organization

Working and being a mom is a juggling act. Pack everything that you can for your baby's day and yours the night before, and make a list for the final bits you need to pack in the morning. Become a fan of lists, on the fridge, in the car...

Return to Work

If you are able to choose exactly when you return, then be kind to yourself and plan to go back halfway through the week, easing you back into the working routine slowly. 

The Boss

Most employers are sympathetic and understand the stresses associated with returning to work. Scheduling an informal meeting with your boss the week before your return to discuss your workload and priorities could help you feel more prepared for the first day back. 


Flexitime

Perhaps you have already decided on working flexible hours, working from home or maybe only returning to work part time? 

Whatever you have agreed, don't let the first week make you feel like you've made the wrong decision. It won't be easy, but give it time and see how you feel.  If after a few weeks you still aren't happy, talk to your boss to find out what your options are. 

New job

Perhaps you are returning to a new job, or just looking for something which will fit around your new life as a mom. There are many options, from self-employed jobs to part time and freelance positions, all with their own unique challenges. 


Keep your Mom friends

After being at home with your baby for the past months, you will probably now have some new mother friends. It is important not to lose contact with other moms when back at work, as being able to talk about your baby with people who understand is extremely valuable. Plan a weekend get together - if only for a coffee and a walk in the park. It gives you something nice to look forward to. 

Sleep

Working and being a mom is tiring. Set yourself an earlier bedtime, and understand that you might not be able to do all the same things you did before you returned to work. Sleep is a key ingredient to staying physically healthy and stress-free.

 


Stay positive

Being a mom is an important job in itself, but being a happy and successful mom requires even more effort and determination. If you're feeling stressed, or having a bad day, take a few minutes to think of the positives and then tackle the problems one by one. Don't forget to take the time to do things for you, whether it is an afternoon shopping with friends or an evening curled up with a good book. Find the happy balance between work, family and career and enjoy the benefits of being a working mom.