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Going back to work after maternity leave is always a frightening and stressful process. There’re plenty of things young mothers worry about. Nevertheless, there is a way reentering the workforce after a long absence easily and without extra worries. The secret is – consider everything in advance. That is why we prepared a list of things to pay attention when time to go to work comes.
1. Know your rights
Before going to maternity leave, check your company’s policy and if it complies with pregnancy employment rights. Make sure that your employer offers paid maternity leave, check how long you will be able to stay at home and whether you will be able to get extended maternity leave or take flexible working hours when you get back to work. Based on this knowledge, start preparing for the post maternity period a few months before you return to work.
2. Start looking for childcare center or caregiver
This process may take much longer time than considered. But, probably it is one of the most important steps as you must be sure that your baby is safe when you’re out. Look for childcare centers in your district, find out if they have spaces in the groups, what conditions they offer and what is the minimum age of children they take. If you want your child to have a personal caregiver, you should look for the agencies that employ babysitters. Forbes published a list of recommendations on how to make the most important hire in your life. Prepare a list of requirements and begin interviewing babysitters in advance. Leave some time for your child to get used for a new person. Let them start with a few hours a day, stay with them to watch how they deal with your child during the first weeks. Continue your search until you’re confident in your choice, as you risk to lower your productivity at work with constant worries and often phone calls to check if everything is fine.
3. Prepare a backup plan
It may happen that your babysitter gets ill or the childcare center is closed due to some force majeure. Prepare a backup plan before you get back to work. Ask your relatives if anyone would be able to stay with your baby ‘just in case’. You may also ask your boss if it’s possible to stay working at home or take your child to a workplace. Consider all the situation may arise to reduce your stress level when the day X comes.
4. Organize short meetings with your colleagues
Going back to work after baby is terrifying when you start thinking about the number of things happened during your absence. If you don’t want to get overload with information during your first working day, ask your colleagues for 30 min meetings about a week before your maternity leave ends. Thus, you will be able to receive all the news in metered quantities and reduce the surprises that may wait for you at work (especially unpleasant ones).
5. Reserve pumping time in the Outlook
If you’re pumping, make sure that you will be able to do that as many times, as your baby requires. In order to do this, block this time in outlook. People won’t be able to reserve meetings with you and you will have your pumping schedule non-interrupted. Besides, you should not be afraid to cancel meetings and change your schedule in case of urgency. Your colleagues will probably understand your reasons if you say “No” to them. It would be more productive than a stressful meeting when your mind is far away with your child.
6. Make a week schedule
Scheduling is rather helpful when returning to work after maternity leave. Chose a day when you will be able to sit down together with your spouse and discuss your schedule and plan your week together. Take into account any possible events, such as doctor visit, sports events or free days for your caregiver. Find the best options to share your childcare responsibilities.
7. Don’t be afraid
There’re so many things young mothers are afraid of. They worry about missing their children firsts, often sick leaves, troubles at work, busy schedule and workload. The stress they suffer makes returning from maternity leave a terrible time, states Chicago Tribune. That is why you should get morally prepared for everything that may happen to you. Remember that thousands of women pass through it. And most of the people around you also have children and know that this period is rather hard for you. That is why you may always count on their support. Don’t be afraid to ask for psychological help when you really need it. Don’t forget your child’s well-being depends a lot on your own physical and mental health. Thuswise take care of yourself and set your priorities correctly.
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