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5 Tips for mums going back to work after a baby

Having a baby is a special time full of joy and excitement. However this joy can turn into dread as you begin to think about the journey ahead as you return to work.

March 2021 – 3 minute read

What’s in this article:

  • Have Confidence in Childcare
  • Be Realistic
  • Try to Take Time Out for Yourself
  • Find the Right Support
  • Change it up
working mum

Leading up to your return to work, it is possible that you could be experiencing a range of emotions involved with the transition to working mum. These conflicting emotions may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Guilt
  • Relief
  • Fear
  • Self-doubt
  • Excitement

Any transition period is going to come with teething issues. Before you know it, you will find confidence in your new rhythm as many mums returning to work have done before you.

Here are some quick tips that can help you strike the balance between the responsibilities of motherhood and the demands of your career.

1. Have Confidence in Childcare

Putting your kid in childcare can be disheartening, especially after spending so much time with them at home. All childcare centres are different and the more confident you are in your choice, the easier it is to leave bubs for the day.

Start looking early and shop around. Remember that childcare is a normal part of your returning to work journey and that your child might even enjoy the new environment.

Another option is letting an offering mum or mum in-law take care of your child when you return to work. Most often than not, they’re willing and excited for the opportunity. Not only can you feel secure knowing your child is with a family member, but you can also save a significant amount of money this way.

2. Be Realistic

Your work and home life will forever be intertwined once you have a child. As a result of this, it is vital that you manage the expectations of your employer. Be realistic about what you can and can’t do for certain projects. You probably won’t have time for those after-hours client events and your regular meeting schedule might have to adapt.

Communicate your “baby schedule” to your workplace so that they understand when you need to take time for bubs. You may need to work from home more and that’s okay. While being direct may not please everyone at the office, it is important to be open with your communication.

3. Try to Take Time Out for Yourself

While your demands will increase both at home and in the office, it can be difficult to take time for yourself. However, it is extremely important to prioritise your self-care to avoid burning out.

Your lunch break at work is there for a reason. Take the time out to leave your desk. Make sure you eat lunch and get out of the office. Go for a short walk and take a breather.

Returning to work can be stressful, so make sure you do things to help you de-stress. Whether it be exercise, taking a bath or meditation, make time for things that will benefit your mental wellbeing.

4. Find the Right Support

If you’re feeling even a little overwhelmed, there is a range of support out there for mums just like you. If you have a partner, it is important to vocalise anything you might be feeling. Finding a community of other working mums can also help you both mentally and financially throughout the transition.

You may be fortunate enough to have friends who are having kids at the same time or have found a community of mums through baby classes. These groups are great for sharing all sorts of baby tips and can support you through the good and bad days.

One area where your friends may be able to support, is with helpful tips to get your little one to sleep soundly. If this is an area where you need help, Westpac Businesses of Tomorrow winner, Love To Dream's Sleep Series is filled with the knowledge and tools you need to help your baby enjoy better, longer sleep. Everything new mums need in their quest for more sleep is free to access from

5. Change it up

Having a child is a life changing experience. Maybe the time off has given you the time to reflect on what you want out of your career. If you don’t feel supported in your previous position or you want to explore a new area you’ve always dreamed of working in, check out our article on upskilling.

However, you shouldn’t feel the need to change your career or believe you are limited to certain kinds of roles. The global shift towards remote working means that you can raise the next generation while still kicking your own career goals. You can join the many work from home mums around the country.

While you may have read every book on being a working mum that you could find, it is natural to feel a level of uncertainty. Overall, try your best to limit information overload and trust your instincts around what is best for you and your family. If you are looking for more information, check out the Having a Baby section of our website.

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Things you should know

This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness for the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

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