I remember the first day of my maternity leave with Indiana. So excited for what was to come, blissfully thinking that my 9 months of leave seemed so long - returning to work was aaages away. If you've experienced it before though, you'll know that those months whizz by (I wrote about returning to work after Indie here). Whether you take a couple of months or the whole full years entitlement, the first day back at work will soon come around.
Your return can seem scary and daunting, but it really doesn't have to be. There are a number of things you can do to prepare yourself - not just for leaving your baby, but for getting yourself back into the work place!
If you're returning to a job that requires you to be away from your little one, the most important thing you need to do is to sort out childcare. I never knew there were so many options before we had to do this with Indiana - I assumed it was either nursery or family. There are a number of different options available though: nursery, childminder, family or your partner, or you can even get a nanny! You can find out more here.
Use your KIT Days
KIT or Keeping in Touch days, are fantastic for if you want to ease yourself back into your job. You're entitled to work up to 10 days during your leave without it affecting your leave or pay. They do have to be agreed with your employer first though.
Prepare your Work Wardrobe
I found it really helpful to buy a new work wardrobe to get me ready to return - my shape and size had changed, so it gave me more confidence to have some lovely pieces of clothing to wear.
Engelbert Strauss offer a wide range of products in different shapes, materials and colours - suitable for amateurs and professionals. I found Topshop great for workwear that was professional but still stylish too.
Practice your New Routine
My routine went completely out the window when the kids were little. We'd lay in as late as possible, lazing around in our PJs and doing whatever we pleased. Work usually comes with a routine though - getting you and baby up, dressed, fed and out the door, all by a certain time.
It's a good idea to practice your new routine for a few weeks before your return. It's a good way to get baby used to the routine too!
And the most important thing of all... Enjoy It! Returning to work doesn't have to be a negative thing. It's your time to be 'you' again, and just think of all the hot drinks and meals you'll get to enjoy!
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