Making the choice to go back to work after having children is often not an easy one, and it’s certainly not something you should feel you have to rush into if you’re not ready.
There are many reasons you may decide go back to work – either when you’re children are still very young or when they’re a bit older, and only you can know if the decision is the right one for you. It may be financial reasons that leave you with little choice but to go back, it could be because your children are now in school and you feel like the time is right, or it could just be because you enjoy your career and you want to go back to that.
No matter what, the important thing to remember is that it’s a big transition
Many people think that going back is going to be easy and like the days pre-children, but it really isn’t. That certainly doesn’t mean it’s bad or not an experience you should enjoy, but it’s definitely going to be an adjustment, so in this post we want to give you some tips on how to prepare for going back to work after having children so that you can have an easy and enjoyable experience and not one full of stress and overwhelm.
The term “mama guilt” is thrown around a lot, but isn’t really understood or being solved. It’s actually becoming a bit of an epidemic, and things like social media sites like Instagram and Facebook where people can show the highlight reels of their lives which can leave you feeling wrongfully inadequate. There’s also the issue that so many people now take to social media to voice their opinions and judgments on others without fully understanding what’s going on in that person’s life. There’s nothing at all wrong with being a stay at home parent, but there’s also nothing wrong with being a working parent, and some people have strong views on either side and this can cause guilt if you feel like you’re neglecting your children by going back to work.
You have to remember that every decision you make is with your children’s best interests at heart and that other people have no business making you feel otherwise. They don’t know your situation, so they have no right to judge you for this. There are many studies to show that children who grow up with working mothers do very well later in life because they’re taught the value of a strong work ethic and will be more career-minded themselves, so don’t ever feel bad or guilty for going back to work because as long as you’re making time for your children and are providing for their needs, then they’re going to be absolutely fine. Children are far more resilient than most of us give them credit for.
When going back to work after having children, then one of the things you’ll have to consider is childcare. Of course, if your children are older and already in school, then this won’t be an issue, but if they’re younger, then the costs of childcare can really mount up. These costs can actually be more than what you’ll earn from your job, so it often doesn’t make sense to go back to work until they reach school age.
However, if this isn’t an option for you, then you do have other ways to go about finding affordable childcare. You could look at bringing in someone such as an au-pair, you could ask family members such as your parents if they’re able to help you out, and often if they’re retired and live close by then they’ll grab the chance to spend more time with their grandchildren (and possibly buy them gifts like kids electric cars!). You could also speak to your employer to see if they have any childcare options such as vouchers towards the cost of private daycare, or even on-site daycare since both of these are becoming far more common within many companies who want to enforce a more family friendly working environment and make it easier for parents to rejoin the workforce.
When you go from being with your children 24/7 to going back to work it can be hard to find the balance for family time – especially if you’re out of the door before they wake up and aren’t getting back until they’re getting ready for bed or are already in bed. It’s important to create a schedule for proper family time and even sit down with your partner if you have one to make sure that you both find a balance that allows you both to work and spend time together as a family. Things like working part time, asking about flexi-time, seeing if you can work from home are all great ways that you can make this a bit easier on yourself and your children so it doesn’t seem like you never see them.
If you’ve been out of the workforce for a while, then you may need to update things like your education and skills. Of course, your employer should be able to help you with this since it’s for their benefit as much as yours, and nowadays it’s easier than ever to study in a way that’s flexible and can be managed around your work and family life. Whether it’s to study for your MBA online or take a few vocational courses in the evening, it’s more easy than you think to get the qualifications you need to be more equipped for your job and even help boost your chances of career progression.
We truly hope you found this post useful and that it will help you be more prepared when it comes to making the decision of whether or not go back to work right now after having children. There’s certainly no right or wrong time to do it, so it’s all about finding what works for you.