Whether you have had a short and sweet maternity leave or a long and exhausting one you will still be feeling massively shell shocked when the day of returning to working rolls around.
The co-operative are experts in the area of childcare and know how hard these times can be. So here are our top ten tips to surviving your first week back at work:
1) In your new maternal role, instincts of being organised should have kicked in. However even the most organised mothers can forget things; after all babies require a substantial amount of necessities and it can be easy to miss one or two items. To avoid this, make a comprehensive list of all you need in the week building up to the big day and you will be sure not to forget a thing when the day arrives.
2) You can never be too prepared for rush hour traffic, accidents, and trips back to the house for forgotten items so do a practice run and get a feel for how long you will need. Give yourself enough time to take it easy and get all your jobs done, as feeling rushed will only add to your anxiety. Being prepared for the first day will make it feel less like the worst day.
3) You may have already decided that your first few days back will be the most stressful and angst inducing few days of your life, but try and reserve judgement till you have given it a chance. The work/home balance might be an unexpectedly nice change.
4) Make sure your child is comfortable in the company of other people. Giving your child over to a stranger on the day you return to work can be a traumatic experience for you both so build up to it with outings to the child care provider and with other people who are unfamiliar.
5) Remember that sleep is the best remedy for stress, worry and sickness so make sure to get an early night before the big day.
6) Before you return to your position, discuss the option of taking a salary sacrifice from your wages with your employer in return for childcare vouchers which can help spread the cost and ease the financial burden of Childcare. Most employers offer a service such as this as it can be bespoke to either a small or large business. Imagine Co-operative Childcare vouchers have been a huge support to working parents for over 5 Years.
7) Have faith in your child care provider. No doubt it was an agonising decision choosing the perfect one so trust in your choice and let the professionals do the rest.
8) It is difficult enough having one day off work unwell in terms of work load, so 6-12 months may seem like the un-climbable mountain. However don’t be daunted, just prioritise ruthlessly and be sure to get the key tasks done so you are up to speed. Tie up the rest of your jobs as you ease back in to your role.
9) Don’t feel guilty. Its one of the most important things you will learn when becoming a mother in a variety of situations. Having your youngster in formal care means they are being stimulated by interacting with other children their age.
10) By the end of your first week you will feel a mix of emotions but above all you should be proud. Leaving your child for the first time is one of the hardest things you will have to do as a parent so reward yourself for achieving such a goal. Maybe it is a nice dinner with your girlfriends or a new dress, whatever makes you feel special; do it, guilt free, with a smile.
Follow these top tips and the process of returning to work can be as simple as A, B, C.