A few weeks ago I wrote about how much I’m dreading going back to work. Instead of wallowing in self-pity (which I would LOVE to do) I have decided instead to focus on the practicalities of going back and some of the things I need to organise and bear in mind.
And there’s no better way to get your head around something new than by getting a little advice from those that have already been there before you. So I asked some fellow bloggers to help me out by offering their top tips for returning to work after maternity leave. Here’s what they had to say:
“Make use of settling in sessions within your childcare provider, stay for the first session or two to observe how things work, interaction with the children etc. Then let him have a session or two where you either stay in the building and watch from afar or head for a coffee close by. Whilst little ones may cry initially they tend to settle within 5/10 mins. Phone the childcare provider if you are worried at any time, we’ve all done it and you won’t be the only mum on the phone.”
Sarah from Boo Roo and Tigger Too
“Ask For Support – This might be from your employer or from your family, but if there are things you can identify that will help make things a bit easier, then see if something can be done. My husband was able to do some of the nursery drop off’s and pick ups so I wasn’t leaving Princess in tears everyday. I was finding this particularly difficult in the early stages of my return to work so sharing the burden really helped.”
Zena from Zena’s Suitcase
“Accept that at the beginning he will probably get a bit upset, he will miss you at first, but as the time goes on it will get easier, and remember, the day he goes in without a backwards glance he doesn’t love you any less he just feels secure in the routine and he knows you will be there to get him later”
Mandi from Hex Mum Blog
“It is hard at first but it makes you cherish the time with them that whole lot more. Seeing their little face as you pick them up from Nursery is just priceless!”
Lauren from Belle du Brighton
“Have a separate bag for baby when they will be at nursery / family which you replenish after each session so that you can grab and go in a morning without checking there are nappies etc. in there
A handover diary is also good to record what he has been up to during the day and you can record if he has had a bad night etc.”
Sarah from Boo Roo and Tigger Too
“Use your accrued annual leave wisely. I took a day off each week from June to October meaning I was working three days for a period of time rather than four!”
Lisa from Mumma Scribbles
“Sort and pack everything you need for the morning the night before: things to do with bathing, breakfast, what you’re taking to work, what your little one needs to have.
It’s worth making a checklist of these things for quick reference. Also, make achecklist for the main things you need to do every work day morning. This way, you don’t have to remember what to do, you just do what you need to do with reference to your check list and sorted items. Hopefully, this also means that you can have a bit more time with your little one in the morning before going to work.”
Mo from Adventures of a Novice Mum
“Look as tragic as you can manage to garner maximum sympathy, chocolate and hot beverages from colleagues.”
Amber from Goblin Child
I think that last one may be my favourite tip EVER and I was certainly be pulling my best miserable face for a full month upon my return! (I’m sure I won’t need any help with this)
After gathering these tips, I’m pleased to say that I’ve actually been doing a fair few of them already, as well as some others:
- Using my KIT days – I’ve used several of these already and have more booked in for my final month off so I can settle in gently (read: drink tea and chat with people)
- Accrued Holiday – I am going back 4 days per week but using one day holiday per week for six months so I’m paid for 4 but work 3 – HOORAH
- Settling in days – All booked up with the nursery and attempting to get Oz into a settled sleep and nap routine before then (HA). I have also booked him to start officially at nursery a week before my return to work. This means I can be on the phone if there are any questions or they are having trouble getting him to settle and need advice
- Practice Runs – I’ve already had a chance to do a couple of full days at the office, dropping Oz at his grandparents (he will go there one day per week) to make sure timings etc. work out (I’m sure just one poospolsion, messy banana breakfast or shrieking tantrum will make this far less predictable full time though!)
- Tissues – I’m stock piling for the inevitable tear fuelled first day back (+ cake) Who would want to leave this gorgeous little face, right?
Do you have any top tips for returning to work after maternity leave? Are there any products or items you couldn’t live without? Have I missed anything that I’ll hugely regret come September 21st? I’d love to know in the comments below!