Is taking care of a baby a full-time job? Oh yeah it is – especially if your little one still doesn’t sleep through the night, is colicky, or you just can’t bear the thought of returning to your pre-parenthood routine. But even if none of these scenarios apply, adjusting to work/life balance when there’s a tiny human involved is still more challenging, daunting and heart-wrenching than you ever imagined.
Here’s the Good News!
Returning to work doesn’t have to be scary, dreadful, or even the end of ever being well-rested again. Despite all your churning emotions and the fact that your go-to power suit is still way too tight, you can be ready for your first day back, and all those that follow, with the right advance prep.
Hey, it won’t always be easy. But then, the best things in life rarely are. Here are some tips to make it happen – and make it work for you, your baby, your family and your employer:
- Find the right child care provider. Read that: someone you can totally trust. Explore as many options as necessary until you find one that feels right. Cut no corners when it comes to checking references, visiting sites, and feeling 100 percent comfortable with your decision.
- Have a contingency plan. Because someone will get sick. Or bad weather will close down your childcare center. Have a realistic back-up plan for times like these.
- Acknowledge that working from home still means working. It’s not fair to anyone involved if you think you can handle caring for your child while working from home, without some extra hands on deck. Yes, you can eliminate commuting time and unless you have a Zoom meeting, you don’t have to dress for success, but you still have to get the job done. So factor this into your childcare plans.
- If you are returning to the office, have your wardrobe ready. Present yourself like the professional you are. If your pre-maternity clothes aren’t yet an option, find a consignment shop or do whatever else it takes to organize a confidence-boosting, comfortable, practical and appropriate wardrobe for being back at work. Repeat this mantra: “I can change back into my sweatpants as soon as I get home …” Before you know it, you’ll look forward to that awesome designer blouse you got for a steal!
- Be realistic: Perfection is a myth. News flash: This applies to everything in life, not just returning to work. But it really rings true now. There will be tough days. But unless they consistently outnumber the good ones, you’ve got this. Cut yourself some slack, and work on self-compassion as well as setting realistic expectations for yourself and others.
For more helpful tips on returning to work after having a child – or work/life balance regardless of your unique circumstances – contact Accurate Staffing Consultants today.