Getting ready to go back to work after maternity leave? Read our countdown for soon-to-be working mums...
However you’re feeling about going back to work after having children, use our back to work checklist to help make it a smooth transition.
At a glance
- You may be able to plan flexible working hours, just make sure you check well in advance
- Plan how you will manage your chores
- Look into starting childcare before you go back to work, that way you'll both feel used to the new arrangements
Whether you arrange informal or formal childcare it is important that you feel as comfortable as possible with your new arrangements. It might feel strange at first but remember that the chances are it will bother you far more than it does them - children are much more adaptable than we often give them credit for. Feel free to ask questions and get credentials from nurseries, child-minders and nannies to make you feel reassured. It might be an idea to put the new arrangements into practice for a few days before you go back to work so that can both get used to it.
As the way we work changes, there are now many more options for working mums. Flexible working, working at home and evening work are all alternatives from the traditional 9-5. Get your hours sorted well in advance. If you’re unsure as to what your rights are check out our guide to flexible working.
It is a good idea to think about how you are going to manage chores at home. If you have a partner, discuss how you will divide chores more equally. Practical things such as making sure you have enough clothes or uniforms so that you can leave laundry until the weekend or thinking about meals which are healthy but quick as well as internet grocery shopping can all help. As always it’s about what will work best for your family.
Getting back into the swing of things? Check.
If you and your employer agree, you can have up to 10 ‘keeping in touch days’ whilst on maternity leave. These are working days which do not affect your leave or pay. Alternatively, you might want to go the more informal route of organising a cuppa with colleagues or reading reports and industry articles.
You may want to brush up on your skills and do a short local college course before going back into the work environment. This will not only get you used to being out of ‘mum role’, it may also give you a confidence boost. Leading us seamlessly onto…
Understandably many of us feel nervous about going back into the work environment after a life-changing experience and a long break away. Thankfully, there are many things you can do to give yourself a confidence boost. Some mums feel guilty about being away from their children, or doing less hours than colleagues. Or both! Stopping guilt is easier said than done but we have plenty of feel-good advice for working mums.
Finally, give yourself time to ease into your new role. It’s bound to take a little while for you to feel fully comfortable. Carry on making adjustments until you find the home-work balance that works for you.