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Returning to work after maternity leave

Maternity leave:

Returning to work after maternity leave
So that time has almost come to start thinking about returning to work, as a new mum this can be a terribly hard decision. Should you return to work full time, part time, from home or even not at all. No one can really make the decision for you and yes there will be good and bad sides to whatever you choose to do trust me! Don’t ask me about working mum guilt or work/life balance because I still haven’t figured it out and my children are now 9 and 6 years old!!
But if you have decided on returning to work even be it for a small percentage, I do have some tips that may help. If they have helped let me know in the comments?
Do take a lunch Break
Seriously, yes I know its adding 30 minutes to your day that you could leave earlier but do take some time to eat, grab a sandwich and coffee and gossip with your colleagues, read a magazine (can also be helpful if your sitting on your own at lunch) . Having a break actually splits up the day and makes the time you’re in work seem like it goes faster. I always say lunch is the quickest half hour of the day.

Do try and be organised the night before
It’s hard enough to shower and get out the door when you need to kiss your baby good bye, add a 5:30am nursing session and a nappy change or three, you will appreciate every minute spare you can find.
Don’t stress about expressing at work
Most employers will be as accommodating as they can about expressing at work, and should provide somewhere private for you to do so. It’s not the nicest of experiences but it will work out.

DO ask for a phased return
For example you could ask your employer if you can use your annual leave to work shorter weeks for the first month or reduce your hours on a temporary basis.

Do Dress to Impress
It can really help to get dressed for work, looking corporate or putting on a uniform can really help boost your confidence. Try everything on beforehand even if your back to your pre pregnancy weight your body may have changed shape and first thing in the morning would not be a good time to find out you don’t like the way the top that you planned on wearing looks.

Do check public transport
Still runs the way it used to, or if you’re starting a new job check out the route.

Don’t expect tech items to work
If you use a computer at work, it’s best to assume that it won’t work on day one. Even if it’s a laptop that’s been locked safely in a drawer, it will be missing important updates for software and virus control that may take some hours to update. In addition, your log-in may have been suspended, you may have forgotten your password, and the laptop’s battery pack may have run down so far it won’t charge up.

Helpful links and further information:
ACAS offers advice on employment rights and early conciliation. You can call their helpline on 0300 123 1100.
Maternity Action has information on maternity rights and you can call their helpline on helpline 0845 600 8533.

You can call the Working Families’ helpline on 0300 012 0312 or email: advice@workingfamilies.org.uk.
So are you thinking of returning to work? Let me know how you are coping in comments, I would love to hear your stories.

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Fiona X

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Photography by Fiona | newborn photographer Bristol & Bath | STUDIO ADDRESS: 20 North St, Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 1HW | Newborn, Baby, Family, Cake smash, Maternity Photography Bristol | Award winning & creative images