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Tips On Returning To Work After Maternity Leave


Having recently gone back to work after being off on Maternity Leave for a whole year I thought I would share some tips and my story with you. I had to go on maternity leave earlier than I wanted to due to being very anaemic and put on bed rest. I was going out of my mind, especially after being used to working 60+ hours a week to suddenly not being allowed to do what I wanted and go where I pleased it was very hard. I thought to myself I could never last 9 months of maternity leave! (we get 9 months in the UK).

However I was wrong! As soon as Amelia was born, I knew I didn't want to go back to work anytime soon. If I didn't have to I wouldn't have gone at all. I loved being a Mum and spending all day every day at home with Amelia. I knew it was what I wanted to do and immediately decided I wouldn't go back to work until Amelia was nearly 1. Slowly the months flew by and it came closer to my maternity leave ending, which was sooner that I had wished as I had to take it early. I was dreading going back but luckily enough I saved up enough to allow me to stay off for another 5 months after I was due to go back. Phew! That bought me enough time to decide what I was going to do, where to work and when I was to start back.

I started looking at ways to start my own business, selling baby headbands, photo shoots, anything I could do so I didn't have to go back to work. Luckily enough I managed to make some money through my blog to keep me going through the last few months, it wasn't easy I'm not going to lie. I was dreading the fact that I would soon have to go back to work and leave my baby. The most I had ever been apart from her was 3 or 4 hours at a time. 

One day Andy came home from work and said "You're starting work on Tuesday... I didn't know what to say. It was like someone had just stabbed me in the chest, I couldn't believe it! My maternity leave had finally ended and I was starting back at work. I wouldn't be able to spend all day with Amelia, watch her grow, watch her play and do new things. 

But then it suddenly dawned on me, I was only going back to work for 16 hours! That's 3 days out 7, not so bad hey? I made sure they were only short shifts 5-6 hours so I didn't miss her too much as seeing as I am breastfeeding it couldn't be much longer. She would be with people I love and know, Andy for two days and my mum the other. I started to feel happier about going back, and decided it would be good for me to have some me time. The first shift back was quite scary and I missed Amelia like hell. But it was great to be out of the house and doing something on my own, even if it was work! 

I have now been back at work for nearly three months and I don't regret going back one bit. I'm pleased  I decided to go back when I did, otherwise I would be struggling to pay the bills and be living on a basic lifestyle, where as now I can buy all the luxuries I wish and spend £50 a week on the food shop without worrying about how much it's going to cost. We are living comfortably and couldn't be happier. In the future I will of course be going back to work full time but now it's working for us.

Here are some tips I have to share with you if you are thinking of going back to work or are going back soon. 

1. Transition going back to work gradually - Don't just go bad full time 40 hours a week you will be depressed and it will all become too much. Take it slowly, perhaps do one shift a week or if you can manage do part time and get used to being away from your baby. It will be very strange to begin with and you need to get used to it. Perhaps let the childminder look after your baby for a few hours in the last few weeks of your maternity leave, or even put them in nursery so they get into a routine. Don't just go cold turkey! Your child may get separation anxiety. 

2. Trust your child care - Whether that be a friend, relative or a day care, ensure that you trust them! There is nothing worse than leaving your child with someone who you don't trust. The first week I went back I was very nervous about leaving Amelia with Andy even more so than my Mum! Of course he is her dad but he hasn't looked after her for that amount of time before as he works long days. I kept wondering how will she be, what if he forgets to feed her, what if she needs feeding from me, she won't sleep unless she is nursed. I eventually began to trust him more and there has been no problems so far. 

If you are putting your baby in a nursery, make sure you check it out first, what facilities do they offer, what's their feedback, ask other mums who drop their kids off. Make sure you know where you are taking your child before you pay a big sum of cash and regret it a week later because your child comes home not looked after properly.

3. Practice your routine - A few days running up to your first day back at work I would suggest practicing your morning routine so you and your baby are both in a routine for when you do start back. That way they won't notice much change and will still be in a routine. 

4. Prepare everything the night before - I do this every night before I am in work the next morning. I get all of Amelia's food and clothes ready for the following day and also have my uniform ironed and ready to throw on when I get up. It is really easy to forget to get things prepared but it will have you feeling much better knowing that everything is ready.

5. Don't stress too much! - It gets easier over time, and before you know it you will be in a routine and enjoying work. Hang on in there. Many women across the world go back to work after having a baby. You need to do what you think is best but just remember no one will think any less of you for wanting to go back to work.

Are you planning on going back to work soon, or do you have any advice for other mums who are thinking of going back?

4 comments

  1. I had to go back to uni when Aiden was only a month old, then so a full time placement when he was 6 months. I was lucky that his dads shifts could work around it, but I did miss my baby! It makes you appreciate the time you get a lot more though, don't you think? Xo

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  2. After having my first, i knew i wanted to be at home and always there for my son. So i decided to work from home & start my own business. It worked out fine for me as i love being at home.

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  3. Hi I am a new follower from filteredforpurity.blogspoot.com. Over here in the US our maternity options are not so great and I was only able to stay home for 6 weeks after my baby was born and having to go back to work was one of the hardest things I've ever hd to do. Some women have to return to work and having advice like you have offered means so much and is very much apreciated.

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  4. I'm planning on going back right after summer. :)

    I like the pic, she's so cute!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I love reading them all and will try my best to answer all of your questions. If you would like to contact me for a quicker response please feel free to tweet me at (@ohsoamelia_blog) or email me. Kerry