At the end of the day, some days will be bad but some will be good. Try not to make any major decisions
in the first 3 months you’re back and soon enough you will get back into the rhythm
of working and balancing work and family life
Heading back to work after giving birth
The two most beloved movie mums in the history of cinema are Molly Weasley in Harry Potter and Mrs. Gump, mother to Forrest Gump. The reasons are obvious: They are nurturing, wise and kind. Also, they are completely fictional. Throughout the history of cinema, we haven’t had too many great role models of working mums. It was either the loving stay-at-home mum, or the working mum who neglected her children. Bottom line has always been that mums can’t handle it all.
In hindsight though, we now know that this is absolutely true and it’s about time we made peace with it. Can we all agree that the old-fashioned stereotype of the “woman with job and children can do everything and then some” is extremely passée and far from realistic Especially since the majority of mothers in Britain today are working mums. According to the Office for National Statistics, almost three quarters of mothers with dependant children are in full or part-time work. Also, today’s online-sharing, fully connected environment has only made us more grounded and realistic in our expectations of a work-life balance.
Testament to that is our conversations with parents here at Metanium HQ. Quite a few have told us that although they had very intense pangs of guilt when they first went back to work, after a while there wasn’t that much guilt involved, because their little one learns to be more independent. At the same time, since being away, mum cherishes the time she has with her little one more.
Still, the decision to go back to work includes a lot of practical preparation, such as planning childcare, accounting for increased costs, organising transport and the all-important quality time. So we’ve prepared a list of our top tips to help ease you back into work.
- The first week back is going to be exhausting so if you can start your first day back mid-week, the weekend will be closer. This way you will be able to make any tweaks in your routine before your first full week back.
- Do a practice run of your working day to see if there are any problems or issues that occur. Take your little one to nursery to see how they get on, you can also see how long your journey takes in rush hour.
- Find a dependable nursery or childminder. Ask around and do some research online because someone somewhere will have a recommendation for you. Best practice is to visit the potential nurseries before deciding which one to sign up with.
- Make sure you have a back-up plan for when something goes wrong. If your little one gets sick is there anyone who can look after them, such as a family member or a friend? For the same reason you should talk to your manager and seek advice on what they can do when you’re needed in an emergency.
- Speak to your manager about coming back part-time, at least at the beginning, so that you slowly become used to your new routine and being away from your little one. If coming back part-time is not an option, see if your work offers flexible working hours to fit around childcare.
- Now you’ve had a baby, your priorities are different to what they were before so it’s ok to say no to extra projects and tasks.
At the end of the day, some days will be bad but some will be good. Try not to make any major decisions in the first 3 months you’re back and soon enough you will get back into the rhythm of working and balancing work and family life.