Returning To Work After Having Baby
When is there a right time to return to work?
Returning to work can be a gruelling decision, one that’s not taken lightly for any mother; whether it be a first time mum or a mum with multiple children looking to get back into the workforce.
Some families do have the option of one parent staying home while the other works but unfortunately for some they do not have the luxury of this option.
The financial aspect
While one parent’s income may be enough for a household, as daily living costs are rising each year; one income simply is not enough to live off in a household.
Mothers are resorting to get back into work just to pay simple things like living arrangements, food, nappies, formula, utility bills and other things like car maintenance.
For families receiving government payments, the decision is even more straining as payments could be reduced due to the fact that the child’s mother is working and earning an income.
The emotional aspect
There are many emotions that that will be felt when leaving your child for work in the morning, the feeling of being away from your child for a long period of time will have you feeling a bunch of mixed emotions.
You may feel guilty for leaving your child or even for wanting to return to work so your life may get back to the way things used to be before you had a child. This will all be normal for any mum, eventually your emotions will lighten up with time and with the realisation that providing for your family is an important factor.
The process of returning to work after baby
If a choice is made to be a stay-at-home-mum can you live with being a mum with no career in the near future? Will you regret not trying to enter the workforce again? or will you be content with being a stay-at-home-mum?
Once you have made the decision to return to work the best thing you can do is to find an arrangement or a routine that works best for you and your family.
1. Find childcare: Depending on your work situation you will need to find a relative, day care or maybe even a nanny to care for your child, your financial situation will determine this outcome. A budget will be the best way to determine what kind of care you can afford for your child compared to the amount of money you earn.
Childcare costs can be a bit costly these days so finding out how many hours your child will need care for, the level of care you require for your child and the amount you can spare each week will need to be looked into. If you’re lucky enough to have a relative care for your child you wouldn’t need to look into the finance side of things. Read more on the different types of childcare options in Australia here.
2. Setup a routine: Once you have figured out a day care or other for your child you will need to start having routines for yourself and your child. Getting an early nights rest will mean neither you nor your child are exhausted the next day especially because your focus will need to be on your work.
Preparing things the night before like lunches, clothes to wear and bags etc., so that they are ready for everyone every morning; meaning less stressful mornings for everyone. However, no matter what, getting to work post-pregnancy won’t be perfectly smooth and one thing or the other may not work out the way we planned.
Therefore, it is essential to keep your calm and make sure you have a backup plan just in case the babysitter, nanny or relative is not able to care for your child.
3. Overcome your fear and prepare for some sacrifices: Whether you have chosen a relative or hired a nanny or even a day care centre, it can be scary leaving your child with someone unfamiliar. It can be a daunting task to put trust into someone else’s hands.
Just trust that they can look after your child and eventually if something isn’t right, your child will tell you in more ways than one. Placing your child in care means there will be a possibility of you missing some big milestones of theirs such as a baby’s first step or a first word or maybe reading their first book.
While you’re at work providing for your family, the carers looking after your child are witnessing and enjoying watching these milestones happen. It may seem a bit unfair that a child’s own mother missed these special moments but just remember you will be there every other step of the way through your child’s journey in life.
4. Be ready to face challenges: Many challenges will arise when returning to work. Learning to juggle kids work and domestic duties may sometimes become too stressful.
Families will need to balance out domestic duties with each other so mums alone aren’t dealt with the stress of all the work done in the house. Simple delegating to both parents and older children will help everyone and this will result in less stress and equal work load.
At the end of the day when work is finished, all that really matters is family so putting some time away for mother and child or family is a good way of interacting and communication with one another after a long days work.
5. Focus on the positives: Placing a child in any kind of care can benefit them, social skills will develop more if they are placed around other children or adults rather than being at home all day. They will interact with unfamiliar children and be forced to build their communication skills.
These interactions will shape the kind of child they will grow to become in the future. Being at home would make a mother feel lonely and alienated from the outside world as well as feel frustrated for the reason of having no one to talk to apart from your partner who may not have an understanding towards your feelings.
Working could set up a future for yourself and for your family, a career could lead to bigger and better opportunities and would create a more stable lifestyle for a family. A mother will have other adults around at work to talk to and could let off stress and tension just by talking about everything.
Moreover, mothers will meet individuals from work who may have similar problems or interests and could create lasting friendships between parents and children too.
Being a new mother and wanting to get back to the workforce is definitely a tricky decision to make. It has its pros and cons and mentioned above. The decision depends on what is the priority and how much are you willing to sacrifice.
Either way, a mother decides to get back to the workforce is a decision she will make for her family and if she decides to stay home and take care of bub, that is also a decision she makes for her family!