Returning to work after having children can seem like an uphill struggle with demands on your time weighing heavily as never before. Maintaining balance in your business during pregnancy and then into motherhood can be frightening if you don’t carefully plan everything out.

The decision to return to work and the process itself compromises our energy and time and therefore pulls at our sense of rectitude with unnecessary feelings of guilt. Consequently, all of this can be exhausting and it’s difficult to know how to organise the process.

Here are 9 Top Tips to help with planning and returning to work after having children

  1. While there is no ‘best time’ to return to work, similarly there is no such thing as a ‘right’ time to return to the workplace. Think about it carefully and when it feels 80% right, go for it. However, for business owners, it is best to have a clear strategy in place. During your pregnancy, start to reduce your hours and find a different reporting system or bring in key skills that will be missing in your absence.
  2. While you are absent and before returning to work after having children it is important to maintain stability. Therefore, create a system for reporting to you Key Performance Indicators.
  3. It is important that you keep your eye on the ball, so arrange weekly meetings and catch-ups with the stand-in Chief Executive or Manager – this can be done via Skype. It is vital that you know what is happening and that you are in a position to advise.
  4. Rediscover the ‘working you’ before returning to work. While fear can set in that your skills and experience have left you: such fear is without grounds. Search for old testimonials, telephone old clients and your managers, go out for a drink with them. This will help you to connect with the old ‘working you’ and those people who valued your contribution and direction.
  5. Returning to work is also a time to acknowledge new skills. When you are in the position of parent and care-giver, you develop new people skills, problem-solving skills, time management skills and the ability to multi-task. While traditional workplaces don’t generally understand or acknowledge these skills, remember you have them and ought to feel confident about them. Articulate these skills where you feel it is relevant to do so.
  6. Don’t worry about working flexible hours when returning to work since not everyone who works flexible hours is a mum. Dads and retirees are examples. New innovative approaches to employment focus more on output achieved against time travelled to a workplace.
  7. Work out the right working pattern for you. Flexible working does not necessarily mean part-time work only. It can mean: working from home; delayed start or finish in order to accommodate the school-run; project working; compressed hours – for example five days in to four.
  8. When returning to work it’s important to get the right combination of childcare. While nurseries can be time-prohibitive, Nannies can be cost-prohibitive. Therefore, you can combine both approaches since everyone is different. You have to work with clients, managers, or employees along with childcare providers to achieve the right arrangement.
  9. And finally, be good to yourself, you deserve it.

Claire Buck is a Life Coach for Business Owners

Does returning to work after having children throw up the following questions?

Do you feel that you are not currently reaching your full potential?

Is there a gap between where you are now and where you want to be?

Sometimes, do you feel that you don’ t have the necessary skills,resources or confidence to achieve your goals?

Are you open to different ways of working , fresh ideas and new perspectives in life?

If you are answering yes to any of these questions then coaching could be the perfect solution for you.

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