Returning to work after having a baby is a big deal. Whether it’s your first or third child, preparing to go back to work can be daunting and take quite a bit of planning. There may be moments of anxiousness or times when you wonder how you’re going to make it all work.
So, what can you do to ensure a smooth transition? Here are a few survival tips!
Try to settle into your new routine before you go back to work
No doubt, the routine you currently have will differ to the routine you’ll have once back at work. Try getting into the new routine before going back to work, whether it’s new childcare arrangements, responsibilities at home or a different bedtime routine. This will help iron out any teething problems and make for a smoother transition once back at work.
Ease into your childcare arrangements before you need them
Whether bubs is going to childcare or being looked after by family or friends, try to start the new arrangement a few weeks before you return to work. Children sometimes need time to settle so this will give you and bubs a chance to get used to the changes as well as work out what works best for you in terms of drop off or pick up times. If your baby has settled into childcare well, you’ll be more relaxed going back to work knowing they’re happy.
Set work boundaries
While you have decided to return to work, your priority is your family. Ensure you have clear guidelines of what your working hours are and ensure your colleagues are aware of this so you’re not expected to answer calls or emails when you’re not working.
Establish family friendly practices
Prior to returning to work, speak to your employer about things that can make your transition back to work easier. For example, if you’re breastfeeding and need to express, ensure there is an area where you can do this. Also, discuss matters such as what happens if your child is unwell, can you work from home etc?
Look after your health and wellbeing
Being a parent is hard work and can leave very little time for yourself. Going back to work can add to stress or make you feel that there aren’t enough hours in the day. Ensure you take time out for yourself so you can relax and recharge. You’re no good to anyone if you’re burnt out.
Ask for help
You don’t have to do everything! Ask your partner to help around the house or with kid duties. Sharing the load means you will have more down time together as a family.
Enjoy family time
When you’re not working, take the time to get out and enjoy time with your family. Whether it’s your day off or the weekend set aside time where you can just enjoy being together. Don’t worry that the house needs to be cleaned or the lawns need mowing. What’s important is quality time you spend with your family.
Going back to work after having a baby is a big adjustment but with planning, you can ensure that it doesn’t overwhelm you or your family.