So you’ve made your decision to return to work after maternity leave (or if you’re like me you’ve had to return to work) and now you are fast approaching the first day back at work.
The thought of returning to work can be really daunting, especially after such a long time off. Also there is the worry about how you are going to get through everything that at the moment takes you all day to do when you’ll be at work!
Firstly, take a deep breath. You’re not superwomen!
I’ve returned to work after two bouts of maternity leave and on both occasions stressed myself out over it, but it’s really not worth it! Here are my top tips for coping with working and having small children.
1. Meal Planning – This is probably one of the easiest stress-busting tips. When you know you’re going to be working and time is limited plan your meals for the week . That way, when you get home from work you know exactly what to cook, making life a lot less stressful. Plus if, like me, you end up cooking double the amount you need, freeze it. One less meal to prepare later in the week!
2. Spread the cleaning over the week – If it’s possible share the chores as much as you can to help keep those stress levels under control. Another great thing to try and do is when your washing basket starts to pile up, put one load on a day. Children seem to go through every item of clothing they have really quickly so keeping on top of it makes means things feel more under control.
3. Shop online – One thing I really hate is food shopping, especially when you have two children in tow after a long day at work. Head online! Life is so much easier when your shopping is ordered and delivered straight to your door. If you are meal planning it also means you can make sure you get everything you need. Plus if you forget to add something most stores allow you to amend your basket right up till the early hours on the day of your delivery.
4. Pack the night before – If you need to be out the house quite early things can get quite manic. Pack as many bags and lunches as you can just before you go to bed. There’s nothing worse than getting to the grandparents in the morning and finding you have forgotten the school uniform!
5. Relax – Take some time in the evening to make sure you have some “me” time. After all you deserve it after working and looking after your family.
*Paula Fazekas is a busy working mum of two toddlers. She works in the finance sector and has a real passion for writing. Having worked since she was at school her career ambitions have now changed since having children and she intends to retrain to do something she loves. She wants Kayleigh and Ethan to believe that they can achieve whatever they dream as long as they set their mind to it, and says the only way to do this is to lead by example. Paula is the winner of our Workingmums’ blog competition and will blog once a month over the next three months.