Going Back to Work After Having a Baby // The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Getting back into work after you just had a baby is a very critical and emotional time for most mums. Of course, the separation anxiety that you feel is normal, but getting back your work schedule will often help you overcome the anxiety of leaving your baby. You will definitely be full of emotions and difficulties, which mostly revolve around you feeling guilty for staying home and putting your career on hold, or leaving the baby at home while you go back to work. Mum guilt is real, and unavoidable (even if it’s completely unwarranted). However, there are many jobs that understand your initial difficulty, and allow part-time positions, job sharing, and even flexible hours. It’s not all good, it’s not all bad- it’s the life of a working parent!
One of the best things about getting back into the adult world of work is just that- you’ll have a lot of adult company! After having a baby you might find yourself with no time to think about yourself, or feel guilty when doing so. At work you will be able, at least in part, to start focusing on yourself again. You mustn’t think that you’re being selfish, but knowing that you have those moments on your own, away from your baby, will help you keep your patience and cool longer when you’re back home after work. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, so when a happy mum comes home from work to her beloved baby she’s probably been thinking about most of the day, the mum will realize that going back to work isn’t the worst thing after all.
Going back to work will also allow you an excuse to dress up a little more than you have been doing. You’ll be forced to shower, wear clothes which don’t have a little bit of baby sick on, and dressed in smart clothes you’ll start to feel a bit better about yourself if that has started to become a problem (which seems to be common for new mums) Of course the major positive of going back to work is the fact you’ll be getting some regular income back into your household, it’s not all about the money- but it is, a little bit!
One of the bad parts of going back to work is unfortunately not being able to spend every moment with your child; meaning that you will probably feel sad about all the things you are “missing” out on. But if you look at the silver lining of this situation, you’ll realize that you’re actually not missing out on anything major, and that most importantly, you’re setting a great example for your child. However, whenever you’re feeling sad the most- like when you rush home to put your child to bed to find out that they are sleeping already, or you are put on call during the weekend, or you find yourself bringing work home- just know that if the job is not allowing you the desired time with your child, maybe it’s just not working! It’s important for you to leave the house in the morning feeling OK, and with so many opportunities now, if you’re not feeling the job bear in mind that you can change it.
OK so the ugly really just sounded good in the title, but I can think of one- ugly crying in the bathroom after spending days on end with a teething baby. Or ugly crying in the office toilets because you physically ache being away from your child and feel terrible for leaving them despite the fact they are absolutely fine. Welcome to Motherhood.
So if you’re looking for a job that allows you to be at home sometimes and at work others, it is wise to find a role with flexible hours, part-time or a job share. It’s much easier than in the past to search for a specific role with specific hours and you will find plenty of potential careers with flexible hours such as local receptionist jobs, which may be just what you’re looking for to achieve that work-life balance. You can find some really great tips online for what jobs allow the most flexible working hours for parents.