Returning to work after having a baby can be emotional and challenging – even in the best of circumstances. Everyone’s approach is different.
Top tips for going back to work
We’ve pulled together a list of tips to help make the transition from parental leave to heading back to work as smooth as it can be…
- If you want to change your hours when you return, you might be able to make a flexible working request. Be sure to discuss this with your partner or support network and figure out how you can team together to make your schedules work best for everyone.
- Keep in touch with your employer, set boundaries with your time, and ask for a phased return. This can make the transition a little easier. It’s also worth understanding what your legal rights are regarding your return to work so that should any problems arise you know what is and isn’t possible.
- Get into a new routine by doing a few practice drop-offs and pick-ups. Trust us, this will put your mind at ease and to get your little one ready!
- It can be tough but try to spend a little time apart from your baby before you return to work. Even to focus on some well-earned you time! It can help them too as that way, they’re less likely to feel anxious when you’re away.
- Research and find childcare options that’re right for you and your baby during your leave well before you go back to work. Make sure to look into costs vs your budget to put your mind at ease.
- Make sure that your feeding regime is nailed and that you have everything you need to keep it stress-free. We’re talking a breast pump, pads, bottles, and sterilising equipment. Talk to your employer as early as possible about continuing to breastfeed when you return to work – if that’s your plan – and ask them if they have a breastfeeding policy in place. It is their legal obligation to make continuation of breastfeeding possible by providing safe and healthy environments in which to feed, express and store milk if needed.
- Treat and take care of yourself in whichever way you like. Head to the salon or go shopping for a little return-to-work wardrobe refresh. Once you’re back at work, be sure to keep up with your favourite selfcare regime when you can. Why not buy yourself a fresh new diary and grab a nice lunch every now and then. After all, you deserve it!
- Delegate housework and other general errands fairly – you can’t do it all! You could draft a meal plan at home or sign up for online food deliveries to take the stress out of dinner time.
- Catch up with your colleagues, reflect on your workplace goals, and make sure that you chat to other moms who have been through the same thing for support and advice. You’re not alone!
- Plan fun activities for the weekend and after work. This will give you something to look forward to and offer opportunities for some real quality time for you and your baby.
- Be patient and remember that it gets easier. You aced your job before you were a mum, and you will again! Afterall, you’ve learnt so much by becoming a parent and have mastered tons of new skills. We’re talking perseverance, empathy, and multi-tasking to name a few!
Whether you’re returning to work for financial security, to build your career or to remember what it’s like to have some adult conversation, the best thing you can do is control what you can and be flexible with the rest – everything will fall into place soon enough.