Here in Canada, we are fortunate to have lengthy, paid maternity and parental leaves, but it still doesn’t make going back to work any easier. There are so many concerns that parents struggle with, such as the thought of finding (and paying for) daycare, the worry of leaving their baby with someone new, and how they’ll manage the pressure of being busy working parents. The good news is that there are ways to make this transition easier so you can return to work with increased confidence. Here are 7 super ways to rock your back-to-work strategy after being home on maternity leave with baby:
- Find daycare right away
Don’t leave childcare to the last minute! You should start your search at least 6 – 8 months before your scheduled return to work to give you time to find the perfect daycare or nanny. If you are applying for daycare subsidies, it’s important to complete the paperwork early. Do a lot of research, check references, and get on wait lists if you need to. If you can, bring your baby to the daycare for a few visits before your official return-to-work date so they (and you) feel more comfortable.
- Get your house organized
Being a working parent means you’ll need to be extra organized if you want hot, healthy meals on the table, clean clothes, and a smooth-running home. Before you return to work, you’ll want to stock up on diapers, household supplies and ready-to-cook food, have a streamlined system to pay bills, manage finances, and plan your meals in advance. Doing this means more time with baby and less time running around.
- Get yourself ready
Don’t forget to make yourself a priority too when returning to work. Treat yourself to some new work clothes, a fresh haircut, and practice self-care. You’ll want an extra dose of self-assurance in those first weeks back on the job, especially if you’re managing sleep deprivation and getting used to your new routine.
- Recognize that big emotions are normal
The thought of returning to work has most moms and dads a little freaked out. There will be big emotions at first, ranging from fear, doubt and sadness, to guilt and downright panic. The good news is that this is quite common and temporary; over time you’ll get into your new groove and realize that your baby (and you) are doing just fine. Be sure to talk to other parents who’ve been through this for advice and support.
- Keep up-to-date on business trends
Depending on your field of work, you may have missed out on some changes to your job duties or industry trends while on maternity or parental leave. A few weeks before heading back to work, read up on what’s new and touch base with your boss to see if there are any big changes that impact you; you’ll want to head back to work with as much confidence as possible and keep your career goals on track.
- Inquire about flexible work hours
If you don’t already have a flexible work schedule or work-from-home options, you may want to inquire about such opportunities that can allow you more flexibility on days when the baby is sick, you’ve had yet another sleepless night, or you have personal/doctor’s appointments.
- Be kind to yourself
Returning to work after a parental or maternity leave is tough, which is why it’s more important than ever to be good to yourself. While you’ll likely want to spend every moment with your kids when you’re not at work, don’t forget about doing things for you from time to time, such as exercising, hobbies, meeting up with friends, or having a date night with your significant other.
If you aren’t sure about your options for returning to work after having a baby, or you’re looking for a new job, be sure to connect with the friendly, knowledgeable staff at Focus Employment Services. We offer many resources to make your job search or return-to-work action plan effective AND enjoyable! Stop by one of our locations either in Alliston or Angus today to get started, you’ll be glad you did!