Don’t let your bump push you out of your boardroom

Read our top tips for mothers returning to work after maternity leave or an extended career break after having children.

Leaving your baby for the first time and settling back into your role is a big adjustment after maternity leave. And an even bigger adjustment if you have been out of work for a few years. Set yourself an action plan of steps as this will help you feel more confident about going back to work. It doesn’t take away the fact that you will miss your children a lot during the day. That is just natural…

The growing demands of working parents and the rise of career break women is one of the reasons the first ever Work & Family Show was launched, which will take place at the ExCel next February 2014, besides the hugely popular Baby Show. Driving confidence and helping women get back into work, it will showcase family services, host lifestyle workshops and will feature speakers from the Government’s Women’s Business Council.

Some of these steps that will help may include…

Young business woman

1. Get used to your childcare before you start – Whoever you’re leaving your child with, you will need to practice leaving your baby or children in their care. For the first time you leave him, plan something nice to do, such as a pamper session or lunch with friends. Don’t be afraid to ask your child’s carer to NOT inform you of any first steps or word etc, so that you can discover them for yourself.

2. Meet your boss to chat about your return – It’s a good idea to go and see your boss to discuss how it’s best for you to settle in. Check that you have everything you need to get straight back to work on your first day. If you can, arrange some catch up meetings with your colleagues.

workshops images business woman in blue suit
3. Treat yourself to a new outfit – Buy yourself a new outfit ready for your return, it will help you feel more confident when you start, and you may find your pre-baby wardrobe a bit tight.

4. Have a back up plan – Both at work and outside. Are there nearby family or friends that can pick up your child if there is a problem with your childcare? There are agencies such as that specialise in just this if you need it, so investigate these if necessary. At work, find someone who can take over any urgent tasks if you have to return home unexpectedly and who you can trust to support you.

5. Organise routines – Make sure your child is in a good bedtime and morning routine, so that they don’t suddenly have to get used to going to bed later or getting up earlier.

6. Make a checklist – Write a list of what you will need to take to nursery/childminder or leave out for the nanny – then get this ready the night before to reduce stress in the morning.

7. Get an early night – before your first day back. Do something relaxing and get to bed earlier than usual so you are really refreshed.
8. Make plans – Have something fun planned for the whole family to look forward to at the end of your first week. This first weekend will be a very special time.

9. Make life easy at home – Do as many household chores as you can in the evening, so that you can spend your days off with your baby. If you can, order shopping online to free up your weekends. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it?

10. It will take time. It will be difficult to get used to leaving your baby or children and settling back into work, but it will get easier. Perhaps plan a family holiday so you can look forward to a well-deserved holiday.

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