What Mum's Want You To Know About Returning To Work After Maternity Leave
So you’ve had your bundle of joy, spent those newborn days getting to know each other and now you’re faced with the not-so-easy decision of returning to work. When is too soon? Do I really have to go back? Or perhaps you can’t wait to return to society and talk to your colleagues about something that’s not baby related. Whatever your situation, if you’re going back to work there’s a range of intense emotions that will arise – and that’s completely normal!
Mum tip #1
Plan ahead. There’s nothing worse than having the return to work date approach without a solid plan of care for your little one in place. You may want to pretend it’s not happening… but trust us, Childcare’s actually have waiting lists these days and if you’re relying on friends or family to babysit, everyone needs to be on the same page. Check in with them regularly to make sure they are still available on X, Y and Z days and if it’s a short term or long-term agreement. Make a list of your preferred Childcare providers and start booking tours online or over the phone. It’s a great idea to do a walk through to get a feel of the place and the educators. They’ll give you a welcome pack and an enrollment form. If you loved the centre then complete and return these documents ASAP to hold your spot!
Mum tip #2
Take advantage of your Childcare’s stay and play options. If a Childcare Centre is your care of choice, they should offer a free day/days where you can bring your child for a play while you’re present. This gets them used to the environment and helps ease your mind as well. If you’re going with Home Childcare or a family member/friend then it’s a good idea to do the same thing with them. You don’t want your first day back at work to be your child’s first experience away from you in an unfamiliar setting.
Mum tip #3
Explore your work options ahead of time. Important factors to consider are – are you still breastfeeding? If so, ask your boss about lactation breaks and make sure there’s a comfortable and private area at work for you to pump. What happens if my child is sick and I must pick them up? Is there a system in place that allows you to do so? Find out about flexible working arrangements and even dig up your works service agreement if they have one. Make sure you’re getting what you’re entitled to as a new parent.
Mum tip #4
Stay connected. It’s 2020 and we can be connected to anyone at the push of a button – including our children! Ask for daily updates, photos and call to check up on them on your break. Most Childcare’s have apps to keep you informed and share photos and activities – amazing! Instead of sitting at your desk worrying, do yourself a favour and just ask. No one thinks you’re overbearing, and the worry will fade in time.
Just as babies and children go through milestones, so do we as parents. While our babies are experiencing their exciting “firsts” we get to mourn their “lasts”. The last time they crawl, the last bottle they have, the last week at home with them. What can feel like a loss to us is a massive growing period for them. In no time they will be thriving with other children, learning new activities and trying different foods. And as for you Mum, the unfamiliar will become familiar again at work and the photos you no doubt have as your screensavers will be there to make you smile through the day. You’ve got this!
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