Today I have a guest post for you with great advice about getting back to work after maternity leave.
From well meaning but patronising comments from friends to impatient work colleagues, there’s no denying that the return to work after maternity leave can be tough for you and your family.
Although it’s a lot to deal with when you’re feeling tired, there are several steps you can take to ensure peace of mind, and a smooth transition from stay-at-home mum to career woman extraordinaire!
Picking the right childcare option for you
Choosing the best-suited childcare solution can be a challenge. The important thing is to take your time and outline any factors that need to be taken into consideration. Besides the financial calculations you and your partner will need to work out, it’s essential to set aside time to consider any other important adjustments, including if you’re living with teenagers with their own routines already in place, or with household pets that need looking after during the working day.
It’s a good idea to ask friends and local families for any child care recommendations they might have, and to get as far as you can with word of mouth to see if you can find some viable contacts.
If you’re holding interviews for a prospective nanny, be sure to ask for a minimum time commitment to guarantee your baby the stability and continuity they need. Alternatively, if you’re exploring nursery options, prepare a list of questions you’d like to cover, including their staff-to-child ratio and staff turnover.
Whether you decide to leave your child with a nanny or in the care of a nursery, pre-empt any early teething problems in letting go by trialling the nursery routine a couple of weeks before you head back to work.
Getting back into shape
Investing some time in your post-pregnancy wardrobe is a good way to prepare yourself psychologically for the return to the office, so take yourself out of the house and find some work-ready outfits. Getting back into the latest fashion trends is a great way to regain confidence after your pregnancy, as well as catch up with friends!
Baby weight tends to be carried on the stomach, breasts and bottom so balance out your figure by accentuating your best features. Wear tunic-style shirts that nip in under your breasts, and flare-out over your stomach to conceal a post-baby tum.
Knowing your rights
It’s important to remember that your rights as an employee are protected whilst you’re on maternity leave. This means you are entitled to pay rises and holiday accrual, and you also have the right to return, regardless of changes in your team or workplace during your absence.
Call ahead before your start date to confirm that your place of work is ready for you, and if you’re breast-feeding, confirm that there is a clean, private space for you to use during the day.
With a little planning, returning to work can be an easier transition for both you and your employer, but if you feel as though you’re struggling, speak to your HR contact and see if any adjustments can be made.