I have been a full time working Mum, a part time working Mum and now am a working from home Mum. I've done the lot! So I feel that I can offer some good advice when it comes to returning to work after having a baby. It really is one of the hardest things to do but I promise if you follow this advice it should make the whole ordeal that little bit easier. I can't guarantee that you won't cry on your first day back but I can guarantee you will be organised at least.
1. Book In A Return To Work Meeting
Make sure you book a return meeting as soon as you feel ready. You may be considering cutting back on your hours or need to explain that on certain days you may be in a little bit later. It's really important to let your employer know about this as soon as possible. After my first child I wasn't allowed the option to return part time so after my second? I let the school know well in advance.
2. Keeping In Touch Days
If you can face it keeping in touch days are a really good thing to do. They let you realise that work isn't so scary and really. Nothing has changed. Whilst you have had this wonderful life changing experience I can promise you that Dave who works in the IT department will still have the same haircut. I did a few and it made the transition easier. And can provide you with a bit of much needed cash.
3. Organise Your Childcare
My children went to privately run nurseries as well as spending time with their grandparents. If you are looking for a place for your children to go when you are at work a great site to check out is Childcare.co.uk. With over 1.5 million users nationwide it's the UK's largest online community for parents. They really know their stuff when it comes to all the regions and have information on everything from local nannies to nurseries.
Childcare's parenting expert Jo says "We know that going back to work can be a massive worry for thousands of parents across the UK, but just like anything, it's vital that you prepare properly. It can be stressful enough without having to worry about what you're going to do with the kids, and that's why we want to make sure mums and dads have an easy and straight forward way of finding childcarers in their area."
She goes onto say "Finding someone you like and trust with your children means you can park any parental guilt at the door and get on with the rest of your day knowing your children are well looked after."
4. Make A Plan
So you know when you are going back, you've sorted childcare now what? Make a plan. It probably will make you look like a bit of a control freak but who cares? Someone else will be looking after your child so you look as bonkers as you like. I made a four page, typed, document about what my children liked, when they napped, what I didn't want them to eat and so on. That way everyone is on the same page and if Nanny tries to give them a Kit Kat Chunky age 1? You can say "REFER BACK TO THE DOCUMENT!"
5. Treat Yourself
You made a beautiful baby, you are going back to work to provide for your family and sure money is tight after maternity leave but treat yourself. Perhaps invest in a nice non Mum work bag. Or get a back to work outfit. One way to feel prepared internally is to make sure you external looks amazing.
6. Screw Guilt
Guilt is not going to help anyone. I promise you as someone who as done all the types of ways you can work and be a Mum as well as being a SAHM. You will just find something else to feel guilty about even if you weren't at work. Go to work, come home and hug those beautiful babies of yours.
This post was written on collaboration with Childcare.co.uk