Whilst I wouldn’t call myself an expert, I have managed to survive being a working mum and bringing up a child for 4 years now. Working mums have it hard, and I can’t lie – it has been stressful and tiring but, like with most things, once you get into a routine that suits you all it becomes easier.
If you’re thinking of returning to work soon, here’s some advice that might be helpful…
Ease yourself in gently
I found it really handy to start with the minimum number of hours we needed to pay the bills and gradually upped these as Little H got older. This isn’t always do-able but it is worth considering to make life a little bit easier in the beginning.
Do what’s right for you and your family
Some families can cope with mum going back to work full-time, others can only manage a few hours a week. Whatever you decide just make your decision based on what is best for your family.
Don’t let anyone else make the decisions for you
Everyone has an opinion on working mums from the grandparents and your friends, to your colleagues and the press. You can’t please everyone so just remember that it’s no one else’s business and don’t let them influence your decisions. Make sure you stand your ground and don’t let your boss talk you into more than you can handle
Take time choosing childcare
The most stressful part without a doubt is childcare. If you aren’t lucky enough to have family who can help out while you’re at work then you’ll need to research the best solution. It might be a childminder or it could be nursery. Whatever you choose, take your time looking around, visit several options, and do your research.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
As well as working you’ll need to taxi the kids around, sort dinners, washing, housework, food shopping etc. Fitting everything into the day is near impossible, so rather than try to do it all let other people help when they offer. Make your partner share the load, and accept help from family and friends when they offer.
If you can’t fit everything in, choose the most important bits. Does it really matter if the kids have chips for dinner more than once in a week because you’ve played with them for a bit after work instead of cooking a gourmet meal? Or if you only hoover at the weekend because you’re shattered after work?
Preparation is the key
Working mums need to be organised. Getting clothes and lunches sorted the night before, putting a load of washing on as you leave in the morning and doing your food shopping online will all help.
You will feel guilty
Whoever you leave your child with, you’ll spend a lot of time feeling guilty that it’s not you. There’s no way around the guilt, so just remember that lots of people do it, it doesn’t make you a bad parent, and your children will ultimately benefit from a strong working mum!
Make the most of your weekends
If you’ve had a great weekend with your family, it makes going back to work on Monday a little bit easier. Get out and about, spend lots of quality time with the kids, and it will get you through the week
Make the most of drinking your tea in peace, getting to sit down, and not have someone join you on toilet trips!
If you have found this post helpful you might also like Top Tips To Make Your Mornings Easier.