Tips for returning back to work after Maternity leave
TIPS FOR RETURNING TO WORK
I'm now into my last weeks of maternity leave, I'm internally sobbing even though I am looking forward to working again and being someone other than 'Mum'. I guess what terrifies me quite a lot is the whole, 'getting into the swing of things' and finding our routine again. The house is going to be busy and hectic in the morning, trying to make sure we have everything all four of us need to get through the day. It's a tough time, so I thought I'd device four quick tips that should make that transition back to work a lot easier for you and your family.
#1 Do a practice run - That's right, set your alarm for the time you would need on a work day, shower, eat and dress as you would on that very day. Get everyone up and ready, and leave the house, even do the commute to work if you can or just head out for the day as a family. But it will help you pick up on any areas you slack. Are you taking too long in the shower? Does your toddler dawdle eating breakfast? You'll work out the issues and avoid being late on your first week back at work.
#2 Communicate with colleagues - If you're not best friends with any of the group from work, it's hard to just reacquaint yourself with them again, particularly if you lost touch over maternity leave. It doesn't necessarily have to be heading out for drinks, but a little chat over text or social media might be nice to make you feel at little more at ease when you're heading back. If you're lucky they might give you an update on the situation at work, so you're already in the zone when you get back into work mode.
#3 Start childcare sooner - If you are putting your little one into childcare they haven't been in before, start it a good few weeks before you actually return to work. Imagine all the emotions of your first day back on the job, leaving your baby and then add on the additional stress of knowing your little one isn't in their familiar place? Try to go easy on yourself by separating the two things. It also works really well if your baby is a bit unsettled in their nursery, you'll still be at home so right on hand to go and pick them up or provide additional support if needed, without it affecting your work.
#4 Book a celebration - Have something to look forward to. I'm fortunate we're heading away in May, so I'm at work a mere 8 weeks before we jet off which is great. It doesn't have to be time off work, but have something planned for a few weeks into your return that you can anticipate and focus on if you're particularly struggling adjusting.
So there you have my top four tips, returning to work is a big step and I wish phased returns existed, it would make the whole adjustment a lot easier on us wouldn't it?