No one said it was going to be easy, but if you want to have your cake and eat it as a working mum, you need to dust yourself off and prepare yourself emotionally, mentally and financially because there may be a few hiccups along the way when you return to work after taking maternity leave.
Being a working mum can be fulfilling and if you can get everything in place before going back to work, it will be a much easier transition that you probably thought.
Here are some tips for a stress and tear free transition (or as close to one as possible!):
Get the childcare right and half the battle is won
Knowing that your child happy and being well cared for is what every working mum wants and needs. It’s important to ensure that you are totally happy with your childcare of choice before you start work – don’t go for second best because you didn’t plan far ahead enough.
Start your childcare search as early as possible – give yourself at least three months to visit nurseries, childminders and to recruit a nanny. Some women start looking as soon as they reach their second trimester of pregnancy. While it may seem a little rash and over the top, when it comes to childcare, the good ones are always in demand – since you want the best for your child, you must start early!
Get stuck in once you return to work
Contrary to years of myth a out new mums experiencing ‘baby brain’, this has been scientifically disproved and actually doesn’t exist.
If you’ve made your mind up to go back to work, then make all efforts to get back into the swing of things. While you may be given some slack for the first few days, you’ll soon be expected to return to your previous standards pre-baby, but you can do even better if you can use your skills as a juggling, multitasking mum to make you even more efficient in the workplace.
Before you return to work, read up on new developments, changes in your industry and your company’s competitors so you have something substantial to contribute when you return. It will also mean that you don’t have such an uphill struggle trying to switch your mind from puréed baby food to more grown up things.
Get your backup team in place
While the right childcare in place can make a huge difference to your peace of mind (and your child’s happiness), if your child falls ill, or your childcare provider falls ill, or the nursery closes because of a power cut (you’d be surprised!), who will you turn to? If grandparents are around and are willing to help, all the better, but if not, who can you call on? Have you spoken to them to agree on when you can call on them?
Have a plan and a backup plan so that you know who you can call on in time of need…and find a way to return the favour, too, so you don’t become a burden on others who only calls when you need something.
Once you’ve put everything in place, learn to enjoy what you do. Being a working mum means you get the best of both worlds – being financially viable, and a mother and it is something to be proud of, so do t let anyone or anything make you feel any less!