Having a baby means taking some time off work, at least for most moms. While some moms only take a couple of months off, others may take a couple of years. For those of you who have chosen to take more than a few months off from work, you may be wanting to get back to work, either to find some productive and meaningful way to spend your time or to be financially independent again. Sometimes, you might find it hard to find the motivation to actually get to it, or you might find getting back to the working world to be an intimidating idea. If you want (or need) to get back to work, what you need to focus on is finding the motivation to do it and maintaining that until you’re back on your feet. Here’s how:
Make a Plan
If you’re going to be at the office or your place of work, you don’t want your mind to be constantly flooded with thoughts of your baby and whether or not everything is going smoothly or whether or not your little one is being taken care of properly. The focus is important in everything you do. Therefore, to keep yourself focused on your work and motivated to pay attention to it, make sure to make all the necessary arrangements beforehand with regard to taking care of your child. If you’re getting back to work after a couple of months, then speak to a lactation consultant or start your baby on formula so that your presence during the day is not always required. Make sure you plan the right daycare centres, playschools, or babysitters, ones that you can trust without constantly worrying. Making these plans can help you transition smoothly back into working life without disrupting your kid’s life.
Take Your Time
Do not pressure yourself into getting back into work before you’re ready. Take it at your own pace. You may find it easier to transition gradually into a full-time job. Start off small - take up easier jobs or part-time jobs and keep graduating to more challenging jobs with longer hours. There’s no fixed time period within which you have to start working after having a baby - you could start after a couple months if you feel ready, or after 4-5 years, once your kid starts going to school. Nobody’s the boss of you (except your boss at work).
Practice and Prepare
To make the transitioning easier, you could try practising the routine you expect to follow once you do start working - waking up and making breakfast, getting your kid ready for school or playschool, packing lunch and the like. Also, prepare yourself for what you may need. For example, if you feel like you may not have a lot of time in the morning, keep your clothes ironed and ready the previous night so that you don’t have to run around in the morning.
One of the most important things to do is to manage your time. Manage it in such a way that you don’t exhaust yourself every day and burn out. Make sure you get enough time to rest, relax, and sleep. Manage your time in such a way that you don’t find yourself rushing every day to get things done.
Find a Balance
A lot of mothers tend to feel guilty about going to work. They feel like they have an obligation to be with their kids and take care of the house all the time, due to which they feel guilty when they think about or start working. In this regard there are two things to be kept in mind; firstly, it’s your life and what you choose to do is up to you. There’s nothing shameful about wanting to work. Secondly, you may find more peace and harmony if you find a balance between your work life and home life. Set aside specific times for each and don’t sacrifice either. Make an effort to keep family time family time and work time work time. This can help you stay motivated because you’re doing justice to both aspects of your life.
Improve on Yourself
If you’re feeling under-confident about going back to work because you feel out of touch with the working world, try refreshing your skills. You could try to acquire new skills such as learning certain computer programs that you might need at work, or any skill you may require for any profession. Practice skills you are out of touch with and learn new ones which you could also add to your resume. Doing this can help motivate you by making you feel ready to get back to work.
Choose the Right Job
Last, but not the least, choose a job that is right for you. Think about the balance you want to find or the kind of life you want to lead and choose a job based on that. Don’t take a job just because someone’s told you that that’s what you should do. Think about what you want to do and what is appropriate for you and your kid and the balance that you’re trying to create. Choose a job that is the right balance of challenging and doable and which employs the skills that you possess. This is the kind of job that will motivate you to work rather than intimidate or bore you.
Remember that everyone goes through life doing what they believe is right. There’s no fixed path or right or wrong way to go about things like this. There is nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about when it comes to working or not working. The choice is yours to make as long as it’s made after a lot of deliberation and discussion with as well as keeping in mind the major stakeholders like your husband and your kids. Don’t be afraid to seize opportunities that come your way!