How to survive your first day back at work
Returning to work can be a huge challenge, here’s how to survive your first day back
It’s normal to feel apprehensive about returning to work after your maternity leave, after all, it’s probably the longest spell you’ve ever had away from work. And now you’re a mum, how will you feel about leaving your little one? How have things changed in the office since you were last there? Is it actually possible to work on such little sleep?
These types of questions are bound to be going round your mind and no wonder.
Here’s some tips to help you get through that all important first day.
Don’t put yourself under too much pressure
Don’t expect things to run smooth and be exactly as they were before you left. It will take time to get back into the swing of work, but you will.
It can help to speak to your manager before you start so your computer, email, phone is all ready and waiting for you when you return.
Get organised before you go
Get bags, lunches all done and packed the night before you start. There’s no point in getting off to a bad start, rushing around looking for baby’s bibs or trying to prepare your lunch in the morning.
Make an effort when getting ready
Help build your confidence with a new outfit for your first day (put it out ready the night before), a bit of make-up, and get your hair cut so you really feel confident and ready to go.
Especially if you’ve had a long maternity leave, there will likely be some unfamiliar faces on the team so it’s important to go out of your way to introduce yourself or ask a colleague to introduce you.
Even if you’re busy, take your lunch hour
On your first day it’s important to take your lunch hour, it’ll help to ease you back in to working life and you can help you catch up with colleagues on a more informal level to help you understand what has changed since you’ve been away.
Try to manage your emotions
It might be that you find being away from your baby is harder than you anticipated or you might be struggling with tiredness, but just get through as best you can and don’t forget this will all get easier over time.
Don’t make any plans for after work
All you’ll want to do after your first day is get home, kick your shoes off and see your baby. So don’t even offer to pop to the shops on your way home. It’s also a good idea to keep your weekend as free as you can to maximise time with your little one and unwind after getting back into the swing of work.