Returning to Work after having a Baby

Returning to work after having a baby can be a very daunting prospect for some mothers. Some parents may not feel as though they are ready emotionally to leave their child and return to work. They may also feel as though they are not mentally ready in terms of they have grown used to not having to obey orders or to behave in a professional manner. There can be a lot of pressure put upon a parent after they have a child to make them feel as though they should return to work.

* Is it right for you?
Before you decide to go back to work you need to ask yourself whether you have to, whether you want to and whether you are ready to do so. Some people have no choice as they cannot afford to give up working and some parents may see it as a welcome opportunity to have some adult contact and remember what it was like to be a ‘person’ and not just Mummy. Whatever category you fall into you do need to think about how you feel about returning to the workplace and talking through with your partner and friends about the concerns that you have.

* Discuss flexibility with work.
You need to discuss with your boss the way your role will be different/the same upon your return. You may be dropping responsibilities and taking less hours or your workload may have changed dramatically within a few months due to the kind of work that you are in. It is vital that you meet with your boss and find out what will be different and what will be the same. Are they able to be flexible and allow you to work from home occasionally? Are they able to still provide you with the opportunities that you had before? Once you know the details upon returning to work you will be able to plan it much better.

* Look into childcare.
You will need to look into what childcare options you have. There are many out there. Some childcare providers are more flexible than others so if you have different shift patterns every week then a flexible childcare provider will be best for you. You need to consider several options; do you want your child in a ‘school’ environment such as a nursery? Or would you prefer them in a ‘home’ environment such as with a child minder? Look around various nurseries and interview several childminders before making any decisions as you will find differences across them all in terms of what they offer, what they charge, the environment and many more.

* Shake off the guilt.
It can be very easy to feel guilty about leaving your child with someone else whilst you return to work. It is hard not to feel guilty, as a parent, about a lot of decisions which you make but it is important to remind yourself that you are giving your child a good example- you are showing them that it is important to work. You are also giving your child an ability to learn to socialise with others and learn to be apart from you which is a vital skill for them to learn and take forward in life. Just because you have a child it doesn’t mean that you cannot work and that you should feel guilty for it.

* Enjoy yourself.
Enjoying work may seem like a strange concept but actually many mothers feel as though work is a break and they find themselves enjoying going to work. Enjoy having time with other adults and being able to have grown up conversations. Relish the fact that you can turn your hand to something other than baby yoga or changing nappies. Whilst at work you are seen as ‘you’ again instead of ‘just a mummy’ which very often happens whilst you are on maternity leave. Making the most of these positive feelings which come with returning to work will help you to adjust to the new lifestyle.

Returning to work can be very daunting and challenging but it can also be rewarding. You may be surprised by how much you actually enjoy working again and how it makes you appreciate your family time even more. If you are organised about your return to work it will help the process be easier.