There's been a small change on my about me page. Who knew such a small change could represent such a great shift. I've removed three words - stay at home. Yes this girl is gonna fumble outta bed, stumble to the kitchen and pour myself a cup of ambition because I'm going back to work. Only part time but it still feels like the end of an era. I'm not really worried about Roscoe, to be honest he loves his nursery so much he literally hides when I come to pick him up, but I'm concerned about what it means for me. I've loved this stay at home identity, I've made it my own. I know I can be great at home, I know I can be good at work and now I embark on the daunting task of doing both at the same time. If you're coming to the end of maternity leave here are five tips for returning to work.
WEAR CLEAN CLOTHES And make sure they fit whilst you're at it. This might come as a surprise but after you've had a baby your body may have changed a little bit. Don't just assume that you can pull out your old work clothes and feel good in them. I also found that when I went back to my pre baby wardobe some of it just wasn't didn't feel like me anymore. Have a good clear out and if you can hit the shops for an inspiring back to work outfit.
GET A MAKE OVER If you wear make up to work, and apparently you should, a make over will make you feel really pampered and also help to mark the transition from baby life to grown up world. I also found my make up needs changed after having my son. I never wore lipstick before having him, to be frank I like snacking too much for it to be worth it, but now I'm always rocking a dramatic lip. It helps me look alive. I don't think you can do better than a MAC makeover which is £30 but you can spend that on products afterwards but loads of counters are willing to give you that back to work glow.
HAVE A PICTURE Make sure you get a nice picture of you and your baby on your phone before you go back and think about having it as your screensaver. Not only will you need it for little mini me fixes throughout the day but people will want to see the evidence of what you've been off doing and it's saves time to have it to hand rather than having to scroll through hundreds of breastfeeding shots and selfies (true story) to get to one.
SET YOUR BOUNDARIES Every parent knows that the job doesn't stop because they're out of your reach, never has the phrase 'out of sight, out of mind' been less apt. That being said if you've committed to your employer they deserve your best so you must let everyone know from the start what you can give and when. If you have to leave at four on the dot to collect the baby then you let your boss know that's what you have to do but in return that means you can't spend twenty minutes discussing bake off, even if it is bread week.
FIND YOUR PURPOSE Even if you're only going to work to keep your precious in Barny Bears you've got to find a purpose there. For some of us being away from our child needs to be worth it; sometimes we forget we can be the ones to make it so. Perhaps you'll decide to speak up more and develop your confidence or maybe you'll be more of a team player and strengthen your relationship building. Developing as an individual will only make you a better parent and perhaps those skills will help you when, dare I say it, that little one has become a big one and finally flown the coop.
If you have any return to work tips I'd love to hear them. If you have any posts with your return to work experiences why not come back on Tuesday for my 'Advice From The Heart' linky co-hosted with Happy Mama Happy Baby