The thought of returning to work after having a baby can be as exciting as it is daunting. While you’ve been taking time to recover and enjoy spending time with your new baby, the workplace hasn’t stopped, and the thought of stepping back into the hectic life of work can be terrifying to a new mum. But we’re here to help, with some of our tips on how to reintroduce yourself to the world of work while remaining the super-mum you’ve become.
Firstly, assess your situation. Discuss your situation with your partner or family members, and make sure this is the right time for you to return to work, or if you need to at all. Only do what feels right for you, your baby, and your family, and don’t be put under pressure by others suggesting you should return quickly. It can be difficult to make the decision, but it’s a hugely important decision to make, so make sure it’s an informed one. Look at your financial situation, and discuss childcare arrangements.
Arranging childcare is one of the most vital arrangements to make before your return. This can be one of the most emotionally exhausting parts of returning to work for many new mothers. Between day nurseries, childminders, nannies, au pairs and relatives, there are many options for childcare. Some of these won’t suit every family, but once again, it’s a discussion to be had with your partner or family.
Discuss your return with your employer. This is an essential step in ensuring both you, and your employer, are happy with the arrangements. For example, in some professions, flexible hours may be of benefit, and if you have worked there for at least 26 weeks, you have a right to discuss flexibility with your employer. Remember, this return is on your terms; take time to sort out a solution that works for you and your family.
Make sure you’re aware of your rights upon returning to the workplace. Oftentimes, even employers aren’t sure of the many laws involving maternity leave and mothers returning to the workplace, so make sure you’re well informed. If needed, take a printed out information sheet into your workplace and provide your employers with a copy to ensure you are all on the same page. You will have set a date with your employer prior to leaving so if you need to change this, make sure to give 8 weeks notice.
Finally, take your time. Don’t rush headfirst into it, take any time you need to adjust. Returning to work can be a huge decision and falling into a new pattern can take a bit of time. You will adjust and it will quickly feel normal again.
It’s only natural to have a little anxiety or to worry about returning to work after having a baby, and while it can be a difficult decision to make, it’s an extremely personal one. If you have any stories or experiences about this that you would like to share with the other parents who read our blog, why not get in touch? We’d love to hear from you.