Ten tips for a smooth transition to work after maternity leave

    The decision to return to work can stir up a lot of emotions. The anticipation about starting in a new position or industry. The excitement of seeing old work mates when you return to the job and company that you temporarily vacated before parenthood. The self-doubt as you question your decision… are you ready? Is your child ready? Will you cope?

    Here are some handy tips to help make your transition back into the workforce as smooth as possible:

    1. Negotiate part-time work, or flexible hours and work options. Whether you’re returning to your old job or starting off in something new, don’t be afraid to negotiate your hours before you commit to anything.
       
    2. Be prepared for overwhelm. As the big day approaches you may begin to wonder if you have made the right decision. Talking to friends/other parents who have returned to work can provide some real comfort.
       
    3. Seek family support. Having the support of those closest to you is very important. Talk to your children about why you are returning to work, and what it will mean for them and you.
       
    4. Start childcare before you need it. There are many child care options available, so you need to choose whichever best suits your family and work situation. Family Day Care is a good choice if you are a first time parent, or if you want to keep your children together during the day. Whichever option you choose, it’s a good idea to ease into it before you start back at work.
       
    5. Have a backup baby-sitter. Having someone you can call on – a grandparent, close friend or other parents – is good for emergency situations and your own peace of mind.
       
    6. Have a weekly meal plan. It may sound a little regimented, but planning your weekly meals makes life a whole lot easier. Write up a menu, buy all of the ingredients, and cook what you can – dishes such as casseroles and pasta sauces - in advance on the weekend.
       
    7. Stick to a routine. Routines ensure everyone knows what to expect – and what’s expected of them - on a daily basis.
       
    8. Ask for help when you need it. You are not a superhero. As much as you might like to think you are super organised, you may find that juggling work, family life, cooking and cleaning is all a bit much. Especially when you first start back in the workforce. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends and family … you might even consider employing a casual cleaner to help lighten the load.
       
    9. Plan family time. Ever heard the saying it’s the quality, not the quantity that matters. This couldn’t be truer for time spent with your family. Organising family outings and set days to do things together, helps ensure you don’t miss out on those quality moments.
       
    10. Book in some regular ‘me-time’. Whether it’s a walk around the park in your lunch break, or a pedicure and coffee on the weekends, you must remember to look after yourself too.

      Remember what the flight attendants tell you when you’re preparing to fly – always put your own oxygen mask on before helping others. Do it the other way around, and you will be no good to anyone.

     

     

    Posted January 19, 2017 in Blog