Returning to work following having a baby can be the toughest thing, with mixed emotions of guilt for leaving the baby, dread of leaving the baby, excitement of going back to work and being in adult company, guilt for feeling excited and apprehension of having forgotten how to do the day job! Which I think just sums up about a quarter of the emotions you feel!
There is no right time to go back to work, it is when you need to financially v’s when you feel ready to v’s when you need to for your own sanity.
We all have our own ways of dealing with going back to work and a lot of it is based on your career, family support, childcare, flexible working arrangements and finances. Whatever you decide to do, you are making that choice for yourself and your family. Some points to think about:
Try not to feel guilty (yes I know easier said than done) but you have put into place what you need to in order to return to work so it will work out…
Childcare; the choice you make here can really dictate how easy it is for you to go to work. Consider your journey times and potential nursery times as often these don’t match. Would a nanny or child minder fit better with your working hours?
Do you have a contingency plan if you are stuck at work or your train is delayed or you are stuck in traffic? You can’t plan for every eventuality, but building up a network of friends and family who can step in in an emergency will help relieve the pressure in that situation.
Feel excited! You are allowed to be excited about your decision to go back to work, some people have worked for many years to get to where they are and having a family is a wonderful new chapter but not necessarily the end of the career chapter if you don’t want it to be…
Roll with the punches; sometimes when your child has picked up an illness and work are putting the pressure on to still be in or there is that trip or event you need to be at or the meeting is running late and…….. We all have days/weeks like this. Relax, take a deep breath and work out your priorities; if dad or a family member can help out, great, if not and it is down to you then it is what it is and you will be able to deal with it. It happens less frequently as your child gets older and hopefully your employer will understand.
Enjoy your weekends or the time you do spend as Mummy, it does make it even more precious!
You can’t do it all. Being a mum and working can be even more of a juggling act than you thought, try not to put too much pressure on yourself. If the ironing stacks up or the bathroom has looked cleaner, it’s OK it’ll get done eventually, either that or you give up ironing and hang everything up from the tumble dryer and hope the creases drop out!
We’d love to hear how you coped with returning to work and what was the hardest thing, but also what has been the best bit too…?