Returning to work after welcoming a new child to your family is a massive change, for your personal and professional life.
Balancing your career with the needs of a new child is hard, even if you are lucky enough to regularly get a full night’s sleep. Getting through the first few weeks requires patience, trust, boundary setting and relying on your support network.
While the following tips won’t solve all of your back-to-work problems, they can make things a little bit more bearable.
Take It Slow
The worst thing you can do when coming back to work is to overcompensate. There are laws designed to keep people from being penalized by maternity leave and you need to embrace this legal protection. Focus on putting in an honest day’s work, not “making up for lost time.”
A good way to ease back into the workday grind is to handle all of the admin and changes that happened while you were away. Go through your emails, read all the important memos, get caught up on the big projects, review any new procedures and meet with colleagues to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
Get in a Position to Trust Your Childcare
If you’re a first-time new parent, handing off your little bundle of joy to someone else is a tough proposition. In addition to worrying if your childcare choice is competent enough – you also have to deal with the guilt.
If you’ve decided you are in fact going back to work, you must be able to get yourself in a position where you have faith in your childcare. Ideally, you should start looking at childcare options and settle on a choice well before your return-to-work date. This will allow you to spend time getting comfortable with and getting to know your choice. If possible, have your baby start childcare before you go back to work, so both of you can ease into the situation.
Set Boundaries and Stick to Them
Thankfully, work culture has never been more attuned to the needs of a working new parent. Still, it’s important for you to establish reasonable boundaries, both with your co-workers and with yourself. Don’t make yourself available 24/7 and if you’ll be doing work from home, be sure to find a schedule that allows you to meet all of your obligations.
Get a Support Team
One of the best things about social media is the ability to get advice and emotional support around the clock, from the convenience of a smartphone. There are a number of groups on Facebook for working parents, including a lot of different niches. In addition to getting support from other parents on Facebook, be sure to get support from your friends, family and loved ones.
Let Us Support Your Return to Work!
At Career Concepts, we regularly work with new parents looking to focus on their careers. If you are a new parent, please contact us today to see how we can help you get back to work.