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If you had a great job before you left to start a family; you might have thought about the returning process for a while now.

If it was always your plan to get back to work after you’ve had a baby or spent some years out of the office to raise your kids; you might be feeling apprehensive about getting back into the swing of things.

Whether you’re going to head back to your previous employer, or are looking to secure a new role elsewhere; you’ll need to plan and prepare so that your working life routine can get back on track and fit with your new family situation.

You’ll face some challenges and teething issues, but as long as you’re prepared for what to expect; you can begin working and earning as you did before, just with a different approach.

It’s worth planning your return to a work environment as soon as you’re able, even during pregnancy so that you can budget and work around your new circumstances.

You can always change your mind regarding if and when you want to go back to work and get back on the career ladder, but it’s worth giving yourself the best chance for when the time is right. The following are some hacks, tips, suggestions, and ideas, for parents who have been out of the office for maternity leave, and are feeling ready to head back and get to work again.

1First Things First – Breast Pumping

As daunting as it may sound, your breasts won’t stop producing milk just because you happen to return to the office. If you want to continue breastfeeding even after you started working, a breast pump will be your new best friend. Talk to your employer to make sure he is aware of the situation and arrange yourself a quiet corner somewhere away from too many eyes to carry on your pumping business.

Arrive at work prepared with a packed pumping bag. This article tells you everything you need to pack for your pumping bag to work.

2Stack up on Baby Food / Dinners

As with every new routine, things will get out of control when you need it least. Give yourself a peace of mind and prepare a whole week worth of food ahead. Both for you and the baby – if needed. When there is last minute situation at home at least you won’t have to worry about cooking dinner.

The complete guide can be found in this article.

3Eat Healthy at Your Desk

Happy mom starts with happy tummy. Don’t stuff yourself with fast food and expect to feel full of energy at the end of your workday. What you put into your body is what you get out of it.

Get into habit of preparing healthy preferably plant based packed lunches for your whole week to avoid sneaking out into fast food restaurants. You will feel amazing and won’t have to worry about loosing any extra weight. Some meal planners will guide you through it, like the one in here.

4Working Your Way Back

If you are planning to return somewhere that you’ve previously been employed; you may well have set up an agreement or contract as to when you were returning, and your job will be waiting for you when you go back.

This is often the best and most straightforward way to get back into the office environment. However, if there are disputes over pay or timing or the new hours you wish to work; it’s worth consulting an employment law attorney who can help you to understand your rights and resolve any issues that arise.

It’s worth checking if your employer uses companies like GetFive before you leave so that you have the best chance of securing a job you want after your time away with your baby.

You’ll want your transition back into work to be as smooth as possible, so sometimes ensuring that everything is sorted out utilizing a third party is the best way to keep things fair and most importantly; legal.

5Use Help Where Needed

Nobody can expect you to work full time, take care of kids and have a spotless house. If you can afford it, hire help when needed. Instead of slaving away in the night cleaning the house and doing the ironing, pay someone else to do that while you’re at work.

Huge garden that takes up all your weekends? Pay someone to help you out so you can pop open a bottle of wine and enjoy yourself at weekend. There is no shame in admitting that you need a bit of help and that extra free time will not feel like a luxury anymore.

6Dress Great, Feel Great

Confidence comes from within, but that cool office outfit surely doesn’t hurt. Get inspired on Pinterest and prepare a wardrobe that will make you feel great about yourself. Best of all? It doesn’t have to cost a fortune!

7Find Your Balance

Adjust your expectations and don’t feel like you don’t live up to your potential. Returning back to work is a slow adjustment process both for you and the baby or kids. Find support groups online or in your area where you can share your struggles and get understanding from like-minded people.

More on how to find the right balance between work and family life is in this article.

Disclaimer: This post has been contributed by Rosie McManus.

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