If you’re returning to work after having a baby, it won’t be a walk in the park. You’ll need to make several changes and also make many considerations, such as how to return to work without neglecting your child’s needs and also avoiding a stressful come-back.
At the end of your parental leave, your baby might still be too young to leave with a caregiver, but work is calling and your plate might already be filling up with responsibilities.
If you want to spend sufficient time with your baby and be an active part of your child’s development while taking proper care of your career demands, here are some tips to help you adjust when returning to work after having a baby.
1. It starts with planning
Returning to work means your routines are changing; your mornings will now begin with preparations for work unlike when you only had your child to focus on. Now, you have to divide your time and attention between preparing for work and preparing your baby for the day as well. Afternoons and evenings will also be different, so plan and work out your schedule in a way that you can achieve both seamlessly.
2. Return to work Part-Time if possible
If possible, you should speak to your boss about making a gradual return, which could take different forms. You could go to work for a few days and work from home on other days, or resume work remotely for a period before you go back fully. If the nature of your job supports remote work, your request might be granted.
3. Hire a Caregiver
By the time you resume work fully, you will need to get childcare services to support you, especially if your workspace doesn’t have its own daycare center. You can take your child to a daycare facility whenever you’re heading to work or get a nanny to care for your baby at you. You can also enlist the help of family and friends if you’re wary about leaving your kids with strangers. Whatever the case, you can install CCTV cameras at home so you can watch how your baby is doing while you’re at work.
4. Take Care of Yourself
It can be quite easy for you to get lost in the drive to cater adequately to your baby and your job that you forget to take care of yourself. If you neglect yourself, you might suffer physical, mental, and even emotional exhaustion.
Some self-care practices to maintain include taking naps during the weekend, taking a relaxing bath halfway into the week, spending time with a friend, reading a book often, and exercising once or more weekly.
5. Join a Support Group
Support groups like ‘Mums in Science’ can help you navigate this period better. Mums in Science provides a safe space for women around the world to connect, share information, and get help.
You can join the platform for free and meet other users in the community. You can also make posts about your interests or jobs, seek partners or collaborators for your work, and promote a project, business, or job you’re working on.