If you’re about to return to work after having a baby, chances are you’re already worrying yourself silly about how everything is going to work. Fear not, because we’ve got five excellent tips to make the transition from poopy nappies and breast milk to office suits and meetings just a little bit easier.
Juggling Work And A Baby Or Toddler
1. Sort out your childcare early
Getting good childcare is a major hurdle for any mum going back to work. Having good childcare in place, where you feel confident in the care your child receives and where your child feels comfortable being left, will make your start back so much easier. Don’t leave it until the last minute to book up though; make sure you have plenty of time to look around, ask opinions and, ideally, for your child to attend a few sessions before you actually start back to work.
2. Be prepared around the home
Changing gear from full on PJ days to up and out early can be tough. To make it easier on yourself and your little one, start adapting your routine in plenty of time and get into helpful habits to make the switch simpler. Prepare lunches, spare clothes for your child and do all the bag packing the night before to save a stressful rush each morning. Oh, and did you know, grocery shopping can be delivered these days? Make the most of it; nobody needs an hour in the supermarket after a tough day at work and nursery.
3. Get ready for your first day back
Trial run a few sessions at your childcare provider before your first day back. This way you can get all the emotions under control so you don’t arrive at work a tearful mess. Try on your work outfits, and leave some money in the budget for brand new essentials, just in case you’re not quite the shape you were when you left. Treat yourself to a new bag, some new makeup or a haircut the week before you start back, so that you’re feeling fresh and glamorous when you arrive back at the office.
4. See the positives of being back at work
Even the most enthusiastic returner can have their spirits dampened once the day-to-day workplace routine sets in, not to mention the worry about how your baby is getting on. Take a moment to appreciate the little things, like being able to drink your coffee while it’s still hot, and managing to go to the loo without an audience. Give yourself time to settle back in, and try to enjoy getting back to being more than just mum.
5. Enlist support from your other half
Juggling work and kids is not only the mum’s responsibility. Discuss things with your partner, and try to come up with a plan for when things don’t go right. Having a plan B (and C, and probably D too) for when your child is ill or when you’re ill will make hiccups much easier to deal with. If you’re used to doing everything at home, don’t expect your other half to automatically know what needs to be done. Talk it out, make a plan and don’t panic when something doesn’t go quite right. You’re in this together for the long haul!
One thing is for sure, whether you’ve been off work for six months or six years, things are never going to go back to quite how they were before. Grasp the mettle with both hands, take pleasure wherever you can, and rise to this new challenge like the supermum you are!