If I had a tenner for all the stories I’ve heard working mums share about crying the first day they left young Johnny at nursery or with a childminder…
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.Here are some tips for a stress and tear free transition (or as close to one as possible!):
- The best childcare you can find
Knowing that your child is with someone who cares for them, likes them, is responsible and experienced (but isn’t trying to be their mum!) can make it easier to focus on work.
Start your childcare search as early as possible – give yourself at least three months to visit nurseries, childminders and to recruit a nanny. It’s not unheard of in some areas for expectant mums to start looking as soon as they reach their second trimester of pregnancy…and while it may seem a little over the top, when it comes to childcare, the good ones are always in demand and you want the best for your child so start early!
- Get your support team geared up for when you need them
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 a plan and a backup plan so that you know who you can call on in time of need…and find a way to retunr the favour, too, so you don’t become a burden on others who only calls when you need something.
- Take ownership of your job when you go back to work
It’s been scientifically dispproved that baby brain doesn’t exist, so that old chesnut of an excuse just won’t wash for too long.
If you’ve made your mind up to go back to work, then make all efforts to get back into the swing of things – at the bare minimum, you need to return to your previous standards pre-baby, but even better if you can use your skills as a juggling, multitasking mum make you even more efficient in the workplace.
- Don’t become a milestone mummy
Nothing is more boring and grating than a new mum who talks all day about what Bessie did today, this hour, this minute, this milisecond…it is a bore!
Try to balance things out a bit and let others ask you how your baby is – don’t always be the one who is volunteering information about every single milestone your new baby achieves.
- The guilt will comes, get over it
There will be days when you feel pulled at work, or feeling guilty about not being there as much as you would like to (or because you’re enjoying being at work!)…get over it! You aren’t the first woman to give birth and go back to work, and you won’t be the last – embrace it and make the most out of it.