5 Tips on Returning to Work After Having a Child
We started LegUp because of our own experience trying to navigate careers and child care. The deeper we dove into building our company, the more we heard from moms (and dads) about the struggle to return to work. As more and more of us take this path, there are a few ways to make the transition easier:
1. Start Your Routine Early
A few weeks before your routine, start transitioning to what your schedule will be like when you return to work as much as you can. Practice giving a bottle to your baby if they’re breastfed, store up formula, frozen breast milk, and food to help with the mental transition to returning to work. If the opportunity presents itself, take your child into work - it’ll help bridge that distance between your work life and home as your co-workers get to meet your new baby.
2. Plan Your Childcare
One of the most difficult hurdles is the decision to leave your child in someone else's care – it’s both emotional and complex to schedule. Consider your schedule; the best environment for your child; and what you can afford. Certainly take the time to process the emotional strain and questions about care but start the process of deciding on care sooner rather than later. Check references, ask for referrals from friends, tour spaces, meet with providers. At the end of the day, trust your gut so you can be more comfortable with the transition.
3. Communicate About Expectations
Now is an ideal time to set expectations around your schedule both at work and at home. The more open, honest and up front you can be, the smoother the transition for everyone. In the world of raising kids no one can anticipate everything but open communications is important for you, your co-workers, your care provider and your family.
4. Have an Emergency Backup Plan
For those with out of home care, know the hours of operation and care agreement of your provider. Also establish who can pick up your child if you or your spouse are somehow unable to make it on time. Be sure you’ve provided this person with all the information necessary for them to manage.