by Guest Contributor
Having a child is one of the best things in your life. It provides a whole new dimension to everything you do and gives you a newfound purpose. Yet it also brings with it a lot of change that can be difficult. Once you’ve had your maternity leave, you’re going to need to work out whether you are going back to work, if you’re going back full time, and what you’re going to do for childcare.
Making these sorts of decisions are difficult both strategically and mentally so you don’t want to do anything rash. Keep on reading to find out how to navigate working while having a child.
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels
What are some reasons people go back to work after having a child?
Let’s face it, having a child doesn’t come cheap and for most families, it’s not viable for a parent to take years off while their little one is small. Aside from the financial reasons, there are some other factors at play when it comes to going back to work after having a child. While it’s a difficult decision to make, benefits can include:
- You get the chance for adult communication as opposed to just speaking with your child all day
- Your little one can learn some independence
- You can really cherish the time you spend with your child when not at work
- It’s good for your mental health to have another sense of purpose
- You will bring in additional money
- It can be inspiring for your child to see you working hard. Wherever you work, whether in a company that runs hvac dispatch software, or for a marketing firm, you can be a great role model showing what applying yourself can do.
What are some top tips for navigating working while having a child?
Once you’ve made the decision to go back to work, you need to consider how it’s going to work. Some of the things you need to think about includes:
Decide what is financially viable for you
One of the most important things you need to navigate when going back to work once you’ve had a child is what is financially viable. It could be that you’re able to only go back part-time, maybe you can take a year off, or perhaps you need to work full time. It’s important to factor your realistic budget into this, taking into account the additional money having a baby requires. You’ll need to pay for things such as diapers and formula milk as well as clothes and perhaps childcare if you don’t have family members that can do it for you. It can be a good idea to make a spreadsheet that details your finances so you can work out what’s best for your financial situation.
Consider flexible working arrangements
When thinking about going back to work, it could be that your boss allows you to make flexible working arrangements. Perhaps they’ll let you adjust your hours to fit around your baby or maybe you can work from home whereas before you used to have to go into the office. It’s worth setting up a meeting and speaking to them to find a solution that works best for both of you. If someone else has recently had a child too, you could look into job sharing? Flexible working is a great solution to enabling you a bit more time with your little one.
Dedicate your time to your child when you’re with them
When you’re with your child, make sure you devote your time to them, the same as when you’re at work, focus on the task at hand. If you’re always thinking about things to do at work when you’re at home and vice versa you’ll end up doing a half-job of both. On your time with your little one, turn your phone off, or don’t enable yourself to check your emails. Find fun activities you can do that ensures you make the most of the time you have rather than just sitting around in front of the TV or doing nothing – though those days are still fine to have! It’s all about making cherished memories and appreciating the time you do have!
Think about the childcare options for you
When you’ve made the decision to go back to work, you need to think about where your child is going to go. If you’re in the lucky position where you can give your baby to a loved one such as a grandparent or auntie, that can not only save you money but you have peace of mind that they’re with someone you know and trust. If not, there are a multitude of options you can pick, from a nursery to a nanny who can come to your home and watch them there. It’s important to read the reviews if you hire an external service and make sure you’re happy with them. After all, your child is the most important thing to you so you want to be comfortable.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself
Returning to work after having a baby is not an easy time and you want to be prepared. Make sure you take care of yourself and don’t be too hard on yourself if you do find it hard. It’s a big adjustment going from seeing your little one all day every day to suddenly not being with them anymore. Take time for yourself to have a mental break such as going to a spa break or just having a bath and a cup of coffee with an hour to yourself.
Expect there to be a difficult adjustment time
Remember that while it might be hard at the beginning, it will get easier. Both you and your baby will learn to adjust and you’ll find the new normal is good for both of you. You’ll find a greater sense of worth by being at work as well as a great parent and your little one will become more independent.
Going back to work after having a baby is never easy. You’re going to undoubtedly go through some difficult times in your head, adjusting to time away from your little one.