2 months ago I went back to work (I can’t believe I just typed that!). I thought maternity leave went by quickly, well working weeks go by even faster!
I thought I would share a few “life hacks” or tips for mums about to go back to work as a few changes here and there can really make your new life as a working mum easier!
- My main advice would be: do not combine your first day back at work with the first day of childcare because you’ll spend all day worrying about your baby and if you’re like me, you’ll probably cry so will turn up looking a mess on your first day back! The other reason to start childcare before work is to have some time when you are neither working nor looking after your child, this is your last chance for some well-deserved “me time” for a while. Family holidays are lovely but nothing beats spending a weekday afternoon at a spa whilst everyone is at work and somebody else is picking up your baby’s lunch from the floor…
- I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll mention it again, it’s really important to have a plan for emergency childcare. Indeed s*** happens, case in point: I’m writing this from a plane on my way to my first overnight work trip and was called earlier today by the nursery to go and pick up A as she has a temperature. Thankfully Mister B is looking after her but let’s just say calls like that 2 hours before you’re about to leave for the airport add to the stress…(then your plane is delayed and that’s when you really have to take a deep breath!)
- Get your clothes and your child’s clothes ready every night. You don’t really want to have to think much in the morning!
- Talking of clothes, I underestimated the effect nursery can have on children’s clothes, basically they get wrecked! So buy second hand or cheap clothes that can get stained or lost, without you being bothered about it. I now separate “nursery” clothes from “nice” clothes one.
- I was really struggling with the whole week-night cooking thing despite being quite an organised person and doing online shopping. I just couldn’t plan far ahead enough and would lack motivation after the whole “train-nursery-home-bedtime” thing that I decided to do something before our diets suffered too much (and I started spending all my money at M and S at the station!). People, there is a solution and it’s called Hello Fresh. Every Sunday evening they deliver 3 meals worth of delicious food with very clear and easy recipe cards. Each meal takes between 20 and 40 mins to prepare. I don’t have to go food shopping, I don’t have to think of what to eat and in exchange we try new foods (pearl barley anyone?), learn new techniques and eat delicious healthy food Monday to Wednesday (Thursday is Chipotle Burrito day and I’m off on Fridays so have time). I love it! The second delivery was 90 mins late but their customer service was great so I’m sticking with it for now.
- Stay on top of washing during the week (a washing machine with a timer helps), you don’t want to spend all weekend doing washing and those dirty nursery clothes need washing asap!
- If you can, get a cleaner! I’d rather not buy coffee than spend Saturday morning cleaning. It’s the best 20 pounds I spend every week, I’m convinced cleaners provide one of the best value for money services around.
- Try and negotiate some kind of flexible working arrangement, part time or at least a day working from home, I have Fridays off and it keeps me sane!
All in all, 2 months later I am happy I’m working but wouldn’t want to be doing 5 days a week, all the little things above make our lives run smoother, I also happen to have a very helpful and tidy husband, which makes a massive difference. Behind every great working woman, there is a man, who cleans the kitchen every night and never leaves his stuff lying around!
What are your tips?