6 Tips For Going Back To Work After Kids.
- Parents Only
By: Hayley Dean, ellaslist.
Going back to work after maternity leave can be an overwhelming and heart-breaking experience for some new mums. The guilt starts to kick in and so many questions start going around and around in your head; How can anyone possibly love and look after my child as well as me? How will this baby, the child who won’t even let me shower on my own live without me for 9 or so hours? Do I still want my old job back? Am I still any good at my old job? Full time or part time? How on earth does anyone juggle day care drop offs and pick-ups? The list is endless.
Fear not. You are not alone. Every single parent goes through the same emotions. It’s a tough time in parenthood. We understand your fears and we want to help you prepare for it.
Here are our top 6 quick tips for going back to work after kids:
There are no right or wrong answers here. You do what works best for you and your family and ignore anyone that doesn’t support that decision. For some, that means returning to work full time, for others a couple of days is best. When it comes to negotiating flexibility (should you require it), remember that large corporates want to retain high performing women so don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Keep in contact with your work place during your mat leave so they can help you transition back into work and everyone has the same level of understanding around your needs.
- Connection with your Child.
Many parents feel extreme levels of guilt for having to leave children to return to work. A common fear is that the connect or special bond they have with their baby will be lost. Child Psychologist Dr Simonne Cohen from Nature & Nurture Earlwood reassuringly tells us that 10 minutes of quality play with your child every day is enough to maintain a strong, loving connection. During these precious moment, put the phone away and focus on your child. Let them lead the play and enjoy the precious time together.
- Plan ahead.
There are a couple of things you can do to start planning ahead for your return to work:
- Start making changes ahead of time so your child gets used to the change in routine, be in nap or meal times.
- Check out Day/Family care places a head of time and ask around for feedback. It’s so important for you to really feel happy with this choice and not forced into something you don’t like. When your child is happy, so are you.
- Start finding your “working groove” again; call up your work mates to reconnect over a drink or a meal. Something this simple is a proven way to bring you back into the work zone, remind you of how good you are at your job, how valued you are in your workplace and of course, brings you up to speed with any changes (okay, gossip).
Around 14mths of age, your once independent child suddenly goes through a dreadfully timed milestone of becoming very anxious. If you follow the Wonder Weeks, you’ll note that they refer to this stage as clinginess; others call it separation anxiety. The ins and outs of why are lengthy but what’s important to note here is that it is 100% normal. Every child goes through it whether their parents are working or not so please, please stop blaming yourself, this is not your fault because you went back to work. Celebrate it instead because your baby is growing and developing.
- You’ve got this.
Skills. Do you still have any? You sure do! In fact, being at home with the kids has actually taught you some new ones around multitasking, problem-solving, time management, creativity and stress management. Go back through that door knowing you now have so much more to offer your employer. Have a think about how you can use these new superpowers for the good of the company
- Flexibility starts here.
If you do need to start looking for a new role, here is a list of some websites that specialise in flexible roles for caregivers looking for part time work: