It’s one of the biggest questions mothers ask themselves after having a child – Do I go back to work or be a stay at home parent?
I am a mother and as a mother, it is our natural instinct to want to do what is best for our family. For some this means spending as much time as possible with the children in their first few years. To others, it means going back to work to help provide financially. Sometimes, and this is becoming more the case these days, families can’t afford to have someone stay home as the cost of living makes it virtually impossible.
If you have made the decision to go back to work, whilst great, can create a whole new set of questions and uncertainties. Can I give 100% to both? How do I provide the discipline, love and attention my children need whilst also giving my career the dedication and attention it deserves? How do I alleviate the feeling of guilt stemmed from not spending time with my children?
I find it comes down to a fine art of juggling, organisation and balance which, as I can admit to, does not come naturally to everyone. Here are some helpful tips to help prepare for the transition back to work:
- Let go of the guilt – think how your career is helping to provide a certain lifestyle for your children and demonstrating women’s careers are important. Working could be saving for their education, providing them with opportunities, travel or carving out a career for yourself.
- Decide how the children will be cared for during the day – from a financial perspective it would be great if the grandparents can be the day time carers but this may not be an option for many. If you decide on childcare services, ensure you think about the location of the centre. Will it be easier to use a centre closer to work or closer to home?
- Make the mornings stress free – organise as much as you can the night before. This could include making lunches, packing school and work bags, laying out clothes, anything to free up time in case of any unforeseen distractions in the mornings – and trust me there will be many!
- Have a good breakfast – always leave enough time for a substantial breakfast to boost your energy levels for the day whilst using this as an opportunity for quality family time.
- Communicate with your employer – discuss your working hours and the opportunities for flexible working arrangements. You never know what is available unless you ask.
There are plenty of tips to help make the transition back to work easier for you and your family so do some research and take your personal circumstances into consideration as every family unit is different.
Remember, we are only human. There will be good and bad days – that’s unavoidable, but we can control how we overcome them and the more prepared and organised we are, will hopefully make things a little easier.
Written by Sarah Bennett