Going back to work after having a baby can be incredibly difficult. You can feel like you are torn with a mix of emotions. Part of you may not want to go back to work at all. The other part of you may feel guilty for going back, or guilty for the fact that you are actually looking forward to it. Or, perhaps this time off work has made you anxious and you are even starting to question whether this is the right career for you? All of these feelings are entirely normal. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some top tips on getting back to work once you have had a baby.
Be honest with yourself – The most important step is to be honest with yourself. If you are looking forward to going back to work and you want to be a working parent, there is nothing wrong with that. Equally, if you are dreading going back to work, and you feel like you want to pursue something else, now is your chance. Nowadays, you can easily take online courses, like online MBA HR programs and online accounting programs, to advance your skill set. You may be feeling anxious about looking for a new job. But, you have just had a baby, so you can do anything!
Make sure you are flexible in order for your boss to be flexible – It is vital to recognise that flexibility works both ways. It is likely that there are going to need to be times whereby you start work a bit later or you leave a bit earlier to accommodate your child. Nevertheless, you need to show that you are willing to be flexible back. Therefore, whenever you are able to, stay in the office for an extra hour, or get to work a bit earlier. It shows your boss that you are not taking them for granted and that you are still committed to your job.
Figure out the right working pattern for you – Every parent requires a different working pattern, and it is important to think about what is going to work for you. Would a job share be most suitable? Perhaps you need to start working from home? Or, you may decide to keep your current job, but you may need to talk to your boss about adjusting your hours slightly so that you and your partner are not working at the same time.
Make the most of being a new parent – A lot of people assume that they are in a weaker position career-wise once they have had a child. After all, you have had numerous months off work, and so you feel like you are falling behind. Well, this is not typically the case. Firstly, you will probably find that not a lot has changed in the office in any case. Plus, being a parent means that you have new skills, which you should see as an advantage. You will be better at time management, for example, and you will certainly be able to multi-task with greater efficiency too.
Find the ‘working you’ again – Last but not least, it is essential to find the working you again. This can often be one of the most challenging aspects of returning to work after having a baby. After all, you have had several months out of the office, and you have been fully focused on your newborn. Therefore, it can be very difficult to switch back into job-mode. However, there are a number of steps you can take to make this easier. A good idea is to schedule a meeting with your boss so you can catch up with what has been going on and what is expected from you upon your return. It is also a good idea to arrange lunch or something informal with your co-workers so you can get back into the group and ease any anxiety you may have about returning.
Hopefully, you now feel more prepared for getting back to work once you have had a child. Of course, this is a very difficult and stressful period in any mother’s life. It is only natural that you are a mix of emotions. However, if you follow the advice provided, and you do what feels right for you, the whole process should go smoothly.