work after maternity tips.

  • Plan ahead
  • Flexible working
  • Build confidence
  • Make the most of lunch
  • Celebrate new skills

You’ve been wrestling with babygrows and wiping drool for quite some time, but back to work day is here. The transition from parenting a new family to resuming your place at a desk (old or new) is rarely an easy one. It can be exciting and challenging, but that doesn’t mean you’ll know exactly when you’re ready, or exactly how you’ll handle it.

Luckily, there are a number of ways to keep your cool, and feel good about a new beginning.

plan ahead.

Preparing for the start of work itself is just the beginning. Planning for the weeks following your return is the crucial bit. Ease yourself in with a short week, think about your daily schedule in relation to nursery drop offs and meal/nap times. Always make room and plans for illness, too as your child is bound to pick up an infection in the first few weeks at nursery.

sort your hours to suit you.

If a part time role, flexible hours or a compressed working week would help, pitch it to your boss in a way that emphasises how your proposal would benefit the organisation.

crack the practicalities nut.

There are a number of tricks and tips you can keep in your back pocket to keep all the plates spinning:

  • Batch cook at the weekends to take the pressure off the week
  • Do your shopping online
  • Prepare for the next morning the night before

be the architect of your own confidence.

The first few days back at work can be a daunting and sometimes dispiriting process. It’s easy to let concerns creep in especially if someone else has been covering your role for months

  • Stay in touch with work during your maternity leave
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions on what you’ve missed
  • Switch your Out of Office on for a day or so and catch up properly

make the most of lunchtime.

Your lunch hour really is your time, so where possible use it to race through the admin that you never get round to at home. Online shopping, sorting out the bills are things that can be done at work instead of home. Also, step away from the office and consider things like taking an exercise class, reading a book or take a quiet moment in a favourite café.

celebrate your new skills.

It may feel like you’ve been quarantined in the Land of the Nappies and completely removed from the professional world, but you’ll have developed useful skills while looking after your children. Articulate these to your boss, and acknowledge that you’ll have new problem solving abilities.

and remember…

Reach out to others. Engage with friends, family members, colleagues or other people in your network who are coping with the same changes. Knowing that plenty of parents struggle with the same things will feel encouraging, and you’ll learn from the different approaches that people take.