Guardian Childcare & Education

Tips to Help Make Work Work

18th October 2017

You had everything under control – you went out whenever you wanted, you slept for 12 hours if you were tired and you could do overtime at work without even thinking about it. Then along came your tiny human and everything changed. An overwhelming cloud of wonderful chaos has taken over and you find yourself in survival mode.

A year passes simultaneously quickly and slowly and before you know it, your leave is over and it’s time to return to work. For some, this can come as a relief; a place for you to exercise your brain doing something you love while being in your own space. While this can bring some much-needed balance to your world, it can also present some unfamiliar challenges. We’ve put together some tips to help you tackle some work woes.

Small Celebrations

There’s something about marking small successes that can make a positive difference in your day. Take advantage of your independence – walk to a park in your lunch break, sneak in a spin class or take a moment to grab a coffee at the cafe on the corner. These are small things but they make a huge difference to your sense of balance and ‘you’ time.

Plan and Prepare

Don’t expect your back-to-work transition to be all roses and rainbows. Starting childcare comes with some upheaval, so prepare yourself for working through separation anxiety and staying buoyant amidst the barrage of germs and sicknesses. Your best bet is to begin your child at an early learning centre a couple of weeks before you go back to work in order to give yourself a buffer. This lets you all settle into a new routine. When comes time to start work, make sure you’ve got a backup plan in place for the first little while – like working from home or having support people ready to step up.

Outsource Admin

Don’t overstretch yourelf. Realise that you’re going to be time poor and learn to let go or delegate some of your to-dos. If you can, find a cleaner, even if they only come once a month, slim-line your commitments, share the cooking and consider cutting out that time-consuming toddler tap-dancing class. Don’t make so much work for yourself that you are left burnt out.

Trust Yourself

Even though returning to work will give you a much-needed mental break from bub, you won’t escape the emotional rollercoaster of letting go. It takes time to accept that you’ll miss some important moments and at the beginning, you’ll have to watch them wail as you walk away. This is all part of finding balance; spending time with your children while making work, work. Don’t fall prey to the ‘shoulds’ – listen to yourself and trust that you’ll find your feet.

Wonder Wipes

It’s only a matter of time until your favourite white shirt is decorated with anything from vomit to Vegemite. To stay work-ready, the golden rule is to always have a couple of wipes at hand to wipe away the inevitable whoops.

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