Top Tips when Returning to work after Maternity Leave

You know how there are all those useful things you wish other mums told you about having a baby? Like how to tell the difference between colic, constipation or a milk intolerance? Or how you’ll never be prepared for the cry your little one will scream out when you’re getting jabs? Well Guess what? There is a whole new set of things that nobody tells you when you’re returning to work, however don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. I’m teaming up with Yours Clothing to help ease back into work.

 

Who’s looking after the baby? – I think it got to the point, where if one more person told me how quick my baby was going to grow up, or “You’ll be back at work in no time!”, I was going to lose my shit. You’d of thought it would of sunk in, but no, 1 month till my Maternity Allowance was running out and I was still unsure on how I was going to return to work.  I had willing grandparents that wanted to help, but they were all working and couldn’t give me definite days to cover so it became difficult to commit to going back to work part time on certain days, but we had no choice, In order to ensure we could afford someone to look after Amelia, I had to return full time. I think had we thought about it sooner, not only would it of been less faffing about with my work, but I’d of been more mentally prepared so I could ease myself back into it, instead of hitting the ground running.

It’s strange, because you can have those days where you just want 5 minutes to yourself and at work, you get those 5 minutes and then some. There were days I missed Amelia so much I’d have to run to the loo just to have a quick cry, and days I was rushed off my feet I didn’t have a moment to even think about her and what she was up to! I’d be leaving at 7am and getting home at 7.30pm so she’d be asleep. I went from seeing her every second of every day, to an hour a day on weekdays.

In my opinion, it’s definitely worth having that chat ahead of time and looking at your options, so when you are returning to work, it’s as smooth as possible for you and if you need to start at 1 day and then work up to full time, you can organise that with your work in your keeping in touch days which you get paid for!

 

Meal Prep, Tesco Orders & Sharing the work load! – So I’m quite a controlling personality by nature, which works great for James and I, because he’s quite laid back, so together we compliment each other, basically I get shit done and he lets me. I was finding it hard to remember everything once I started back at work, baby brain is so real! This could be something simple like defrosting the chicken for dinner that night, or stopping off before I got home to buy milk for that giant coffee I’d be needing in the morning. I started putting an alarm on my phone for 9pm each night to remind me to take any meat out of the freezer to defrost. I can’t tell you how many times Hungryhouse came to the rescue because someone forgot to get out the meat to defrost.. ahem. In all fairness, James could of helped out too so it wasn’t just my responsibility.

Sharing the work load with your partner (if you’re not busy being awesome soloing parenthood) is a must.  If you’re like me, when I was off, I felt this pressure to be super woman, as if looking after a newborn baby and healing from a horrendous birth wasn’t hard enough, I somehow convinced myself that I had to do all the cooking and cleaning and washing too. To be honest, going back to work hasn’t really changed that, I still feel like I’m the one managing all of this and there are times I’m happy to, but other times I feel like I’m just doing everything and that’s not healthy so don’t be afraid to set some rules. If you’re cooking, let you’re other half wash up!

Doing a Tesco shop is also a massive help as it’s another thing I’m in charge of. I’ll usually sit down with James, or corner him whilst he’s bathing Amelia so he can’t ignore me and is forced to actually help think of a week’s worth of meals we fancy with me, and then anything we might need if we don’t have it already, stuff for lunches and any bits for Amelia. Not only does this help with finding the best offers, but it means I’m more likely to stick to a budgeted shop rather than chucking any ole thing I see in the trolley! I also use my affiliate link for Tesco’s via SkimLinks to earn some ££ back each month! (If you’d like a post on how I use affiliate links to help earn extra £ each month let me know!)

James and I use a little calender on our phones that sync up and we put our meals on it so that we both know what’s for dinner and it’s up to both of us to ensure we have everything, Usually it’s just me doing it all and it can seem super overwhelming when you’re coming in late, needing to cook dinner, then eat, clean and go to bed just so you can do it all again tomorrow. Make sure you get planning and sharing those adult responsibilities!

 

Dress to Impress.. yourself! – One of my biggest struggles since having Amelia is my body shape. I’ve been having inner battles with my size and being able to see past it and see my beautiful self. Since having Amelia, my shape has changed completely and I’m very aware I can’t dress for it yet. Going back to work meant trying to dig out my pre-pregnancy clothes that didn’t fit the same, or trying to style out wearing maternity tops. I’d be lying if I said I’ve got my shape sussed but saying “Sod it, I’ll wear what I want” and taking the pressure off myself to spend money on a few new ‘Work Staples’ for my wardrobe if I want too, or wear my maternity leggings that are far too big but feel comfy AF!

I don’t need to dress to impress anyone, My body is mine and I’ll wear what I want! I however, chose a mix of the two, although I’ve only just repurchased some size 20 Primark Leggings for £2.50 a pair which is a steal by the way, and got rid of my maternity leggings. I took the liberty of stocking up on a few items from Yours Clothing to help with a few work wear staples to help me fall back in love with my body, whilst feeling good about going back to work and feeling fabulous!

 

Swing Dresses for me are LIFE right now. Anything with an elasticated waist is my friend as I feel it frames my curves and helps disguise my tummy that I’m paranoid about.  I’m obsessed with this Black and white heart swing dress as it’s fun yet smart enough to wear no matter the wardrobe etiquette at work. Oh, and it has pockets! #Winning

Having a pair of Smart black trousers,with a mini elasticated waist i might add, can help turn most casual basic T-shirts into a smarter outfit for the office. A little pair of kitten heels or smart flats paired with these bad boys, and you’ve bridge the smart casual gap and saved having to buy loads of new smarter tops! These are 28″ in length because I’m 5’3, however they do have longer for those blessed to reach the top shelf of anything.

Sometimes, I wake up, it’s my time of the month and I don’t want to wear anything tight or constricting. This Cape style jersey top is so stylish, smart and comfy AF! Add a long necklace for some added glam.  I’ll take one in every colour please!

I had to include this smart chic Black wrap dress as it’s so simple, yet looks so smart and it’s such a comfy fit, it doesn’t matter where you’re wobbly bits are living their life, this dress has got you and it’s gonna help you slay all day!

For my full Plus Size Post Pregnancy Return to work Wishlist, check out this post here!

 

Be Kind to Yourself, You’ve just made a human! – Whilst I was on Maternity Leave, I was offered a promotion for a manager position. I was already pretty nervous about re-learning everything I was doing before having Amelia, but now learning this new position too? I was shitting myself.

I feel like since having Amelia, I’m this different person. My brain doesn’t work the same, it doesn’t work at all to be honest haha, but I’m always really hard on myself if I don’t seem to get things as quickly, I feel like I need to ask and then ask again and when I do get that light-bulb moment, I can’t help but think everyone is quietly judging me and my “no such thing as a stupid question” questions. I need to stop apologising before I even ask something and putting myself down.

Thankfully, I’ve got a wonderful manager and Team who I work closely with that understand that I say things backwards now and that in my head i’m speaking perfect English instead of this gobbledy goop. I often get a bit tongue tied and I’m learning to laugh about it all and not want to crawl into a corner and vanish.

I made a little human. I had the pregnancy from hell and the birth wasn’t a walk in the park either. I had a long recovery and suffered with post natal depression but I’ve come out the other side. I’m talking about my feelings and I’m doing my best and ya know what? That’s all I can do. I’m only human too.

Don’t beat yourself up about things. Baby brain is SO real. Speak to your manager, they will understand. Don’t suffer alone and don’t beat yourself up. I know it’s hard, but you know you’re doing everything you can and that’s enough. Always.

So here were just a few things to think about for your return to work. Got any other tips? Leave them in the comments below for anyone reading! 

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  • One of my biggest concerns when going back to work was what to wear – I was terrified and had a new shape to try and tackle. My biggest tip would just be that it gets better. Two days in and it was like I’d never left!

    • haha that’s so true. I feel like I never left, well, aside the baby brain, that seems to throw a spanner in the works every now and then!

  • Laura Dove

    I didn’t go back to work as I had three babies in two years, but this is great advice for those who do!

    • I’d like to say I’m jealous but, I think having 3 babies in 2 years is a different kind of work haha! Your family is beautiful Laura!! xx

  • Great advice lovely. I’ve just been sorting through my old workwear and there’s a very big bag for the charity shop. I treated myself to a few new tops from Primark and a skirt that fits. I’m only going back 3 days a week and I’m really nervous about leaving E at nursery and nanny’s.

    • I think going back even 1 day can feel like a lot at first, I think sometimes it’s the juggling and actually thinking about everything, like who’s dropping E off or who’s picking E up and that alone can be draining. You’ll be absolutely fine hunny 😀 You’re doing an amazing job! xx

  • Such good advice! With being made redundant and then leaving my job I have nothing to go back to which is weird, I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet xx

    • Thanks Alice! I’m so sorry to hear about your redundancy, I don’t actually know you well enough to know if it’s messed up your future plans as it can be a spanner in the works. I had the choice to either take the promotion that was offered to me or be made redundant as they were changing positions around at work and I opted for the promotion. I bet it is a weird feeling but I have no doubt you’ll figure out what the next move is for you 😀 xx

  • Kirsty McManus

    Some brilliant tips Luc, completely with you on the meal prepping point and good old food delivery, that’s such a good idea about using your own affiliate link though! If I was still shopping online I’d defs do that, but the difference we’ve seen switching to Aldi is too good to pass up!

    • Thanks Kirsty! We LOVE Aldi but don’t drive and don’t have one close enough to take advantage on all the offers and cheap fruit and veg! We have a lidl but I always find the fruit and veg go off too fast compared to Tesco. xxx

  • Nadia Martine Eian Koch

    What a lovely and supportive post for anyone returning to work. I love the outfits and I especially love the advice about being kind to yourself and yes, baby bran is indeed very real 🙂 xx

  • We moved when I was 7/8 months pregnant as we lived in Bracknell which was super expensive cost of living wise, so I had to leave my job in Reading. Now we live in Gloucester so I can’t really do the commute and the 40+ hour weeks! So I’m on a job hunt now as my maternity is officially over, sob! This is a really great and informative post! x

  • So much to think about! I didn’t go back after maternity leave for my firstborn, but then had 3 jobs when I had my 3rd baby and had no leave!

  • It must be so difficult going back to work after maternity leave. I was lucky in that I didn’t have to go back when I didn’t want to, but I know a lot of my friends enjoyed going back to work. I think buying a new work wardrobe sounds like great advice, I also accomplish more when I feel comfortable in myself.

  • It must be so hard to find the balance but sounds like you’ve cracked it! Great tips x

  • Samantha Postlethwaite

    some lovely tips! and love the outfit choices 😀 I went back a few months ago and have struggled a little with balancing everything but just about getting there xx