Well I survived my first month back at work ! And thankfully it wasn’t all that bad. So now that I am nearly a month on from my ‘first day back’ I thought I would share some things with you that I have found helpful and have helped to ease me into my new role… a working mum!
It is so hard to get the balance right between time at home with our babies and time at work, in the professional roles that we have always known ourselves and it is different for everyone. Obviously the biggest factor drawing most of us back to work unfortunately comes down to funds, so the time we do spend at home with our babies becomes even more precious.
I had done some ‘Keeping In Touch’ days, and I really think these have helped to ease me back in to working life. I did some half days the month before so that when I went back I was already back into my work routine and had caught up with all of my colleagues. This did help me as then when I went back in at a full day, I could focus on work. A good thing about ‘Keeping In Touch’ days is that you can do up to 10 and get paid for them, on top of your statutory maternity pay.
I found if I was really organised the day before it relieved a bit of the pressure the next morning. To get Freya and the dog out of the house by 7.20am is quite an ask, but it has helped to be super organised. Here are some tips that have helped me, so hopefully will help you too:
- I plan out Freya’s outfits the day before and have them laid out, ready to go in the morning. It might only be saving a few minutes in the morning, but they all add up!
- Organise their bottles, milk and food ready in a bag to go in the morning.
- I make sure her changing bag is well stocked and ready to go.
- Plan out your outfits and uniform. Have this all ironed and ready to put on in the morning.
- Make your lunch and have this ready in the fridge. Again, it only takes a few minutes but any time saved in the morning you will be grateful of.
- Try and get an early night, as it’s surprising how tiring the juggling act can be. Although I find a day looking after Freya often exhausting, a day at work left me feeling tired but in an altogether different way.
- I wash my hair and straighten it ready the day/night before so that again a few more minutes are saved in the morning.
- Set an alarm – although I am often up around 7am with Freya, you can guarantee it will be the one day that they decide to have a lie in when you should have been up for work!
- Organise your evening meal, or plan to cook something really easy. We often have Fajitas or Stir-fry on a working day as this is such a quick meal to cook, leaving you more time with your babies when you get home.
And lastly, enjoy. I have definitely felt that physical ache to be with Freya when I am at work and felt the mum guilt that we all know too well. But I keep telling myself that it is for the best and in the long term it is making Freya more comfortable with others and adaptable. It is nice to have that flexibility to know that your baby will be happy to be with others and not completely stuck to your hip.
A bit of ‘you’ time is so important, to remind yourself of who you were before becoming a mum. We wear many hats as a mum, and I have now added another one – the working mum. Good luck to all of you going back to work, I hope it doesn’t take you too long to adapt. Just think how good those cuddles will feel when you get home.