We are now in December so I’m thinking about returning to work after maternity leave. This is my second maternity leave, after returning in between my babies for a year.
I feel very lucky too have been able to spend the first eleven months of my baby’s life completely devoted to her. Now the practicalities of life kick in and back to work I must go.
Having experienced returning to work once before I know that it will be a rollercoaster. Some days everything runs well and goes to plan. Then other days everything seems to go wrong and s*** hits the fan! I’m just hoping for more days of the former, rather than the later.
Based on my experience these are my top tips for returning to work.
Returning to work after maternity leave tips
- Plan ahead your daily routine – including what time you need to drop kids off and pick up
- Do a trial run before you start to check your timings if unsure
- Talk to your child in a positive way about their new childcare – even babies will be able to pick up the sentiment in your voice and tone
- Prepare everyone’s things the night before – getting a baby/toddler changed is hard at the best of times, so best to have clothes and bags prepared
- Try and keep drop offs quick – a long goodbye doesn’t help you or your child
- Dont be afraid be contact your childcare – just ring or text in the day to check on them if feeling anxious
- Keep busy – don’t punish yourself if you realise you haven’t thought about your child for ten minutes
Go easy on yourself, it’s a massive change for the whole family. There is a lot going on with the new schedule, new relationships and work dynamics. It may get harder before it get’s easier, so take each day as it comes.
If your feel lack of confidence when you are back, talk to your HR department, as they may have services to help you. It’s important to have self-care during this time of change, so do talk about any issues you’re facing.
Also, if you need any help on the financial side of returning to work, contact the Money Advice Service who have lots of information.
I know I’ll need it when the time comes.