Back to work: some tips

Perhaps the time has arrived where you have to go back to work or your little bundle of joy has grown up and started school, the house is empty and the opportunity to ease finances and reclaim a little independence has arrived. Here are a few tips on how to alleviate the stress and enjoy your work/family life balance.

So the interview for the job you wanted has arrived and you are doing a mental checklist of what will need to be done before you can start. Don’t panic! It is easier than it looks.

– How do I explain the gaps in my C.V.? There is no shame in honestly stating on your C.V. that you have been looking after your family. If anything this will show your proven skills such as you can be efficient with your time (we’ve all been there when you know your baby’s in-built-feed-time-scream-alarm will go off in 15 minutes, so we need to get home quick), budget (I’d love a Kate Spade infant carrier but…) and have shown responsibility in running the household (bills paid, baby jabs up to date, house tidy).

You are a decision maker, a multi-tasker (yes, I can feed the baby, whilst mopping the floor, ironing a shirt and taking a call at the same time) and a hard worker (I had three hours sleep last night, but I still had to get up, do the school run, do the shopping and visit my Great Aunt Eileen). You meet deadlines and you are a patient negotiator (we’ve all had to negotiate a tantrum in a public space). These are just a few of the qualities that make up a mother that are essential in the work place too.

– Who will look after the kids? Depending on the line of work you do will determine the need for childcare. If your children are of school age then this will help enormously, but explore all the options and pick what would suit your child best, they need to feel secure and happy too.

– I have nothing to wear? Perhaps that suit you wore to your last job doesn’t fit anymore – our bodies change shape in all areas after a baby or perhaps, fashions have changed. It doesn’t have to be costly to gain a new work wardrobe. Adding a few key items to your clothes can make for a modern twist and will keep you going until that first pay cheque arrives. A new scarf, statement jewellery and bags can all be used to embellish a new outfit. Look out for sales, check out charity stores, maybe borrow items from a similar-sized friend, or why not hold a hold a clothes swap party?

At the end of it all, achieving a happy balance is not as impossible as it may seem. Children are very adaptable so don’t feel any guilt because you aren’t at home when they are – what you are doing is actually creating a better life by providing opportunities for them that may not ordinarily be available. Whether it is a holiday, saving for their future, extra money so the children go on those costly school trips, saving for a bigger house or just so you can enjoy the simple things in life without the stress of watching every penny. You are doing a positive thing for you and your family. What can be better than that?

*Ruth Harrison Roberts is a fashion and lifestyle writer in London and regularly writes for online store Miinto. As a working parent she has pretty much been through it all!

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