By: Emma Anderson
Returning to work after having a baby, can leave you with mixed emotions. It can be worse for you as a mother, as you fully understand what the feelings mean, and how they relate to your current situation.
It is a fact, although you will be upset leaving your baby behind, you will also feel a great sense of anticipation and excitement that you are going back to work, and will be amongst the adult world again.
Anxiety will still be at the back of your mind though. You will have thoughts running through your head, like; how is my child? Are they taking care of them? This will be followed by a feeling of fear or guilt. Rest assured though, you are not the first mother to have these feelings, and you certainly will not be the last.
To make things a little easier, we’ve prepared our inside knowledge of what you can come to expect, and what you can do to help you prepare for returning to work after a baby.
What you can expect
When you decide to go back to work after having your baby, it is often the need for money that makes you choose to return to the workforce. Another factor is the working and interaction with other adults, or it could just be merely a mix of both, that will influence you.
You will find that many issues are raised when you rejoin the workforce as a parent. Child care costs, along with availability (of childcare), family routines, and handling your extra workload. As if it was not enough already, you will feel stressed initially.
These changes will take you time to adjust to fully, and you will at some point feel as if you have two jobs, rather than one. We would like to think domestic duties become shared when you go back to work, unfortunately, this is not always the case. All this together can help to increase your stress levels which you may find you take out on the rest of your family.
When you are thinking of returning to work, you can immediately begin looking at childcare options and who will be watching your little one. Some daycare centers have waiting lists, so the sooner you check, the sooner you can get your name down. You may want to tour a number of facilities before making your final decision. Finding the right place for your child may take some time, and it’s ok to be particular about your wants and needs for their care.
Routine Dry Runs
In the weeks leading to returning to work, you can do some dry runs of your anticipated new routine. Dry runs can be good practice, and you can iron out all the wrinkles before your big day arrives.
Work out a particular routine, to getting up, preparing you and your baby, being out of the house by a certain time, and making your way to the daycare. Running through this can help you understand how much time will be involved, and how it will affect your routine.
If you have the possibility, it is worth asking if you can work part-time in the first couple of weeks. During this time, both you and your baby can adjust to the times and a new routine of when you and your child will be apart from each other. Once you are back full-time, you can ask your daycare to send you text updates on the activity of your little one. Also, if you feel as though you need to call throughout the day to check in, this is normal and appropriate in the early days. You are a mother after all, and that is the one thing they can not take away from you. Most workplaces will understand the need for you to check in on your baby at daycare.
Preparation will now become one of your nighttime duties. Choosing your work clothes, preparing your lunch and your baby’s bag will all become part of the ‘night before’ process. Organization and preparation will be skills you will quickly have to master. The more you can do in the evening, the more you will have an easier and quiet moving morning.
Most of these tips are geared around preparations for you just heading back to work and helping ensure your baby has the quality of care you desire for them. However, what about you and your professional skills? It has been a while, and you have been out of the scene while caring for your child. You may feel a little rusty with the skills you acquired before having your baby. There is no need to panic. There are options where you can work on professional skills while still at home. Freelancing for websites or organizations often affords you the chance to work while remaining with your child. Jobs like these can be great if you can commit to lengthier periods of time. If you just want to get back into the swing of it and can’t commit to tight deadlines, some companies offer cover letter and resume services where you can freelance. Positions like these will provide you more flexibility and the opportunity to work when you have the time. Either of these options may just be the thing to get you back up to speed.
Going back to work after having a child can be stressful and anxiety-ridden for both you and the baby. However, with the tips we’ve provided we hope your transition from home back to work will be a smooth one. Nothing in motherhood is easy, but with a little organization and planning, the transition doesn’t have to be difficult for either of you.
Emma Anderson is the head resume writer at Job Frog Resumes. She balances taking care of her energetic 2-year-old girl, her hungry husband, work career and social life – just managing to fit sleep in there somewhere.