ON THE JOB: Returning to work

Many women combine motherhood with a job or career outside the home. If you’re a new mother planning to return to work, you may be wondering just how you’re going to manage both successfully.

Here are some things you can do that can help ease your transition back to work.

Be organised: You have a lot of responsibilities, and to make sure they’re all attended to — and that you maintain some sense of sanity — set up a system for making sure everything gets done. Too many demands and not enough of you to go around means you may have to let less important matters slide.

Make backup plans: There will be days when your baby is sick or your child care centre is closed. Be prepared with alternative plans on those days. Check with your employer beforehand about taking time off when your child is sick. Talk with a family member or close friend in advance about filling in if you can’t bring your baby to child care.

Establish a support system: Give up trying to do it all yourself. Accept help from your partner, family members and friends. Seek out other working mothers who can offer support as you make the transition back to work.

Take time for yourself: As difficult as this may seem, take time to nurture your own well-being. Taking the baby for a walk is enjoyable for your baby, and it’s good exercise for you. Rely on easy-to-prepare meals or a relaxing bath after putting your baby to bed to help ease stress. If you feel less stressed, you’ll be able to better enjoy your baby when you’re together.

Get as much rest as possible: You’ll have times when you feel so tired you’ll wonder how you can do it all. Unfortunately, fatigue goes hand in hand with being a new parent. Try going to bed early one night each week to catch up on sleep.