I have had to return to work after 2 pregnancies and neither of them was particularly easy. My first child was still very young as Maternity leave was only 6 months long back in 2005, and I felt that he was too young for me to put into nursery and return to work full time, so I made the tough decision to leave my job and become a full-time mum until he was over 12 months.

Once I managed to find a new job (this was difficult in itself 17 years ago with discrimination at its best for new mums), I had to get my career face back on and work full time for corporate business. Trying to juggle feeding, nursery drop offs, poorly child for no reason, finding sick and other substances on my clothes and then trying to function on little or no sleep with a “baby brain” and do my job to same ability that I could have done it 12 months easier was very difficult.

My second child was born in 2015 and at this stage in my career, I was commuting an hour each way for work in a lovely city centre office on top of a 42-hour week. I was at the top of my game but suddenly had 2 kids to think about, one of which was really dependant on me as she was still a very little 1 year old baby.

Coordinating 2 children with school, nursery, feeding, poorly children and then little or no sleep again whilst meeting with senior business leaders in recruitment and trying to show them that I was the expert they needed was proving difficult.

However, I had an epiphany and realised that you shouldn’t stress about things that you cant control and if you are organised and remember that you have a family for a reason, and that is not to torture yourself whilst you’re at work but to spend time with them when you are at home, then you can make a few small improvements to returning to work.

Here are some of my top tips that I have learnt:

  • Accept that life after having a baby is not – and should not – be the same. Accept your new normal and enjoy it.
  • Do a full dry run before going back to work. Get out of that house and through your morning routine as if you were going to the office so that you can navigate pitfalls ahead of your return. How long does it take, what do you need to pack with you for the baby and for you.
  • Return to work in the middle if the week on a Wednesday or Thursday so you have fewer days to face during that first week. You could even take advantage of some keep in touch days to help you with the transition.
  • Accept that for now, everything is temporary and subject to change. Go with the change rather than fighting it. You will adapt and be able to find a routine but baby’s need to you be able to adapt to them.
  • Focus on abundance. Pay attention to spending quality time with your child rather than the scarcity of what you might miss while you are at the office. They love you unconditionally and are ok when your are not with them.
  • Remember that It is okay to love your work. You are successful and should be proud of your accomplishments. You can still be a mum and have a career.
  • Know that every parent has guilt. Stay at home parents feel like they abandoned their careers or education. Working parents just experience a different brand of guilt.
  • Put down the bat. Don’t beat yourself up for mistakes. All you can do is correct yourself and the mistakes and learn. You can only do your best at home and at the office. You are not superwoman!

You are amazing and you can do this!

If you would like any career advice and you are looking to change jobs across Scarborough, York or Hull, please contact the offices on 01723 313505 / 01482 762199 / 01904 862642 or click here to contact us