Having children is a big life change, and it’s something that can put all other ideas and goals into perspective so enjoy these 5 Tips For Going Back To Work After Having Children.
Some parents change every plan they have to take care of their children.
However, this is not mandatory, and if you want to continue with your life goals and try to reach them as a parent, there should be nothing stopping you.
This can mean going back to work if you’ve had time off to take care of your children, whether that was a few weeks, many years, or anything in between.
Yet this transition back into the workplace can be hard, and even those who are keen to work again may be apprehensive about making the change as it’s such a big one not just for the person re-entering the workplace but for everyone else in the family too.
Routines will change, and this can be a challenge that is difficult to get past.
However, if you plan ahead and you have a good idea of the obstacles you’ll need to get over, it doesn’t have to be such a worrying time, and you can do what’s best for you and for your family.
Read on for some helpful tips about how to transition back to work after having children that will make sense for everyone.
Be Patient With Yourself
Once you have reached a stage where you know that going back to work is the right thing to do, you may well be keen to get started.
You’ll go online and research how to do it, and you’ll even update your resume and start looking for potential jobs right away.
The problem with doing this is that it can make you feel overwhelmed.
This is especially true if it’s been a long time since you last went to work, but even if it’s only been a little while, you’ll find that being a job seeker is much harder than you might have imagined.
There will be a lot of choice, and you’ll need to think not just about the work you’ll be expected to do in your job, but also the hours you’ll work and the money you’ll make (this is crucial if you’re going to be paying for childcare).
These are things that may not have featured in your job search in the past. In other words, there is a lot more to think about now than there was when you looked for jobs before you had children.
Because of this, you need to be patient with yourself.
You might be excited to get started, but rushing into something could mean making a mistake, and by the time you realize this, you could have gone through a long onboarding process and changed your family’s routine only to discover that the job won’t work for you.
t’s far better to wait and take your time until the perfect – or as close to perfect as possible – job comes up.
Applying for jobs sparingly and taking the time to research each one properly will mean that when you are asked for an interview, you’ll be sure it’s worth attending because of the potential job available.
Find Good Childcare
If you know that you are going to need childcare because you are planning to go back to work, it’s a good idea to find that childcare sooner rather than later.
The longer you leave things, the more rushed they will be and the harder it will be to feel confident in what you are doing.
The happier you are with the childcare you have in place, the happier and more productive you will be at work, and you won’t regret your decision to go back.
Ideally, you will interview and even try out a number of different nannies, or you’ll investigate a range of different daycare and kindergarten facilities.
The type of childcare you use will depend on your own preferences and the circumstances of your job.
It might be that you work from home, for example, and you are happy – and the work, if flexible enough – to allow you to drop off and collect your children from daycare, but you’ll need some help for a couple of hours after they get home.
Or perhaps you work out of the home and have a long commute, in which case you’ll need something more long-term.
Work out what you need and put it in place as early as possible.
Set Clear Boundaries
Once you are a parent, you’ll have different priorities in your life.
You might have worked long hours, well beyond anything you were scheduled to do in the past.
Or perhaps you never really stopped working even once you got home for the evening, and you checked your emails and answered the phone no matter what.
When you are a parent, this might not be possible, and on top of this, it may not be what you want anymore.
Instead, you’ll need to set proper boundaries so that you can achieve a good work-life balance.
For example, you’ll have set working hours, and you won’t do any overtime unless it is arranged well in advance and you can organize help at home.
Plus, when you leave the office – even if the office is in your house – you won’t look at any work-related emails or messages, and you will spend time with your children instead.
Having these boundaries in place and letting the people you work with that they are as soon as possible is crucial.
If not, you might find yourself slipping into old habits, and once that happens, it’s very hard to stop.
It could lead to you regret that you went back to work in the first place and then you’ll become miserable, which will affect your children when you’re with them.
They will pick up on how you’re feeling.
Setting boundaries will prevent this from happening.
Going back to work doesn’t mean you have to go back and do exactly the same thing you did before.
If you loved your job, that’s great; you can look at ways to pick up where you left off.
However, if you didn’t enjoy what you were doing or there is something else you know you would rather do, now is the time to do it.
There won’t be many other opportunities in your life when you get the chance to start over, so if you want or need to, the time between leaving work to take care of your children and realizing it’s time to go back is the right one.
To begin with, because you’re not at work, you have the ideal opportunity to research new career ideas.
You can look into what jobs are available, which ones are most flexible, which ones will allow you to utilize your particular skills, and what qualifications are required.
This last point is particularly important.
Some jobs will require you to have specific qualifications, and if you want to move into that career, you’ll need to study.
The good news is that when you’re at home taking care of your children, you will have the opportunity to do just that, thanks to online learning.
You can sign up to study to be anything you want to be.
Alternatively, you might find that you want to stay in the profession you were in before, but you want to try for a different angle.
Perhaps you were a nurse, and you want to expand your knowledge, so you apply to be on a pediatric nurse practitioner program, for example.
Either way, your maternity leave and the time you choose to spend at home will give you the perfect opportunity to investigate what you might want to do so that if you want to start fresh, you can do just that.
Make sure you’re doing what’s right rather than what you think you have to do – these could be very different things.
Just as when you set boundaries at work so that you can ensure you have a good work-life balance, it’s also important to manage expectations.
If you are asked to do something, don’t immediately say yes and then try to fit it into an already overloaded schedule.
Equally, don’t automatically say no because you think you know what’s required and assume you can’t do it.
The best thing you can do is ask some questions.
Let whoever is asking know that you’re busy, and find out exactly when this task is needed by.
Think about if anything else you’re doing can be pushed back.
If you can do the work and it fits in with the time you have, that’s great, but if not, at least you thought about things before you declined.
This will help to maintain a good working relationship with the people around you and ensure that you can feel good about the work you’re doing and how you’re doing it in relation to the time you spend at home.