1. Breastfeeding mom going back to work?
Just because you’re returning to work doesn’t mean you have to stop breastfeeding. Talk to your employer before you return. Say you need a clean, private place to express your milk. And when you do go back to work, block time out in your calendar so you’re not stressed or too busy to do it.
2. Choosing the right daycare
To help ease any working mom daycare guilt, do your research and make sure you’re happy with the childcare you have in place. When choosing childcare, ask around for recommendations, perhaps pay the premises a “surprise visit”, check reviews on them and, most important of all, trust your gut! If your mind is at rest, you’ll be able to more easily concentrate when you’re at work.
3. Requesting flexible working
If you can handle a reduction in your salary, you could ask your employer about job share, or reducing your hours or days. If that’s not an option, then put in a request for flexible working. You could ask for your hours to be staggered to fit with your childcare needs (an earlier start and an earlier finish, for example) or home working. Employers won’t want to lose good employees, so it’s in their interest to consider your request carefully.
4. Working moms: handle your work colleagues
If your working hours have changed, or you’ve reduced your working week, make sure your team realise that. Tell them all so as to manage their expectations and to ensure you don’t feel pressured into doing overtime or taking on tight deadlines that you won’t realistically be able to meet. When prioritising your workload, remember to take into account your working hours. Don’t be afraid to speak up if something feels too tight or suggest more realistic deadlines.
5. Control working mom anxiety
Don’t be hard on yourself. This is going to be a massive change for you, so accept that it’ll take some time to adjust to your new routine. It could be good to ease yourself back into working to get into the swing of things. Ask your employer about a phased return. You could do reduced hours or days for the first month, for example, to ensure both you and your child are coping and happy.
6. Seek out working mom support
Whether it’s a friend that’s in the same boat, working mom co-workers or a working mom support group, seek out a network of people you can talk to when it’s all getting too much, answer any of your questions, and basically sympathise with your situation. Don’t bottle up how you’re feeling. Your partner and family will also want to support you however they can, so don’t be afraid to shout if you need help.
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