Going Back to Work

Going back to work after having a baby or after saying at home with your children is something that is usually very emotional for the entire family.  Going back to work is something that many parents must do so preparation can make it a little easier.


Going Back To Work
When you’re expecting you look forward to the day your new bundle of joy arrives. The last thought on your mind is going back to work again at the end of your maternity leave. It may be something you want to consider, however.

How do you prepare for going back to work after maternity leave? Here are some things you may want to think about:

1. Before your baby arrives, begin to research your company’s policies about maternity leave. Find out how long they allow you and whether there is a difference between that and how much time the Family Maternity Leave Act allows. If you’ve been paying for long-term disability insurance, maternity leave may be covered so you receive at least a partial paycheck while you’re at home. Talk with your human resources department to find out what you qualify for.

2. Keep communications open with your employer and your immediate boss. Let them know what your plans are, if you would like to use part of your vacation or sick leave for additional time, and when you plan to return. If your plans change for any reason, be sure to let your employer know as soon as possible.

3. If you’ve recently had your baby, start thinking about child care before you’re ready to return to work. Of course, you want to place your child with people you trust, so start by asking family or friends if they would be willing to provide child care. If that’s not possible, take your time finding the right day care. Nothing is as important as your child, so don’t forget to ask for and check references. Visit each potential day care a minimum of two times before deciding.

4. Talk with your boss about how you intend to handle those occasions where your child is ill and you have to stay at home to care for them. Discuss the possibly of being able to do some of your work from home during those days.

5. Before going back to work, prepare yourself for actually leaving your child for eight or more hours a day. Ask your spouse, other family, or friends to care for your child while you go out for a little while. This will make being separated from your baby easier when you return to work, but realize that leaving your child is never truly easy.

6. Consider asking your boss if you can reduce your hours to working part time for a while after you return to work. This will give you more time to adjust to being away from your child and could actually increase your productivity since you’ll be a happier employee.

7. Don’t start back to work on a Monday. Plan to start back to work toward the end of the week so you’re not back to the grind too quickly. It may be too difficult to be away from your baby for five straight days. If you know you only have a day or so to be separated, it might make things easier for you.

Going back to work again after maternity leave is going to be an emotional time for you. Planning ahead of time may make the transition easier, but you will still have an emotional tug of war going on within yourself. Don’t belittle yourself if you cry when you leave your little one - it’s perfectly normal and to expected.

Finding the Perfect Sitter While You’re Away

Let’s face it. No matter how much you love your child there will come a point where you’re going to have to be away from them. Maybe you’re concerned about finding the perfect sitter while you’re away. There are many ways to find them; here are a few.

Start out by thinking of the people that already love and have a relationship with your child. Family would be an obvious first choice. Grandparents, aunts, and uncles already have your child’s best interest at heart. Why not ask them if they’d like to spend some quality time with your child?

After family, the next group of people that you’re most likely going to feel comfortable leaving your child with would be close friends of the family. Do you have friends that your family spends time with? They may be willing to trade baby-sitting duties with you if you need some time away from your child.

If you’re new to an area, you may not have family or friends to turn to yet. You’ll have to ask around to see if co-workers, people you attend congregational services with, or your pediatrician have recommendations. If you’re a member of a civic organization, you may find people to give you names of potential sitters.

Check with local colleges and universities to see if they have a child development pool that takes baby-sitting jobs as part of their school requirements. High schools may also have a similar program but you’ll have to contact each school to inquire.

After you have a list of potential baby-sitters, be sure to take the time to talk with them on the telephone before asking them for a face-to-face interview. You can use this opportunity to ask them about references so you’ll have a chance to start contacting them before you set up an interview.

Have your children available during the interview. Watch how they interact with your children. Use a “what if” list and ask them how they would handle certain situations or emergencies. Verify that they have first aid and CPR training. If this person seems to meet all of your other requirements but doesn’t have first aid training, they may be able to take a class at a local hospital or medical center.

Discuss what they would be required to do while baby-sitting. Will they only care for food or will they do light housekeeping as well? Will they have access to your television or computer while you’re gone? What hours are they available? Do they have their own transportation or will you need to pick them up?

Trust your own instincts. Whether talking on the phone or in person, trust what your feelings tell you. If you’re hesitant to hire them, there may be a valid reason. Does this mean that your instincts are always correct? Of course not, but it is something to consider when finding the perfect sitter while you’re away from your child.

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