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Share your top tips for making going back to work post baby easier for you & your family - you could win £200 of vouchers or a hamper of P&G products! NOW CLOSED

(151 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread. Read here.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 13-Sep-13 09:36:03

Going back to work after having a baby can be daunting. Recent research by P&G to celebrate the Everyday Effect bears this out, finding that for 6 in 10 mums it took more than three months to get their confidence back in the work place.

They have asked us to find out from you what you think about this:

Is/was this the case for you? What would have helped you feel more relaxed about going back to work? What things did your colleagues/partner do to help with the transition? What are your top tips for mums returning to work after having a baby?

P&G (the company behind brands such as Pampers, Fairy, Flash, Ariel, Lenor, Pantene, Max Factor and Olay) believe that life is lived in the everyday. Seemingly ordinary actions, from wearing a clean shirt to brushing our teeth can have a surprisingly significant impact on ourselves and also the people around us. That's what they call The Everyday Effect.

Add your comments or top tip for supporting parents going back to work to this thread and you will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £200 John Lewis voucher and 10 MNers will a P&G hamper of goodies.

Thanks and good luck
MNHQ

Please note your comments may be used (anonymously of course) by P&G in PR and marketing materials, their website and possibly elsewhere so please only comment of you're happy with this.

Cherrygrape Fri 04-Oct-13 04:24:10

That is fab, thankyou!!! smile

Willemdefoeismine Thu 03-Oct-13 17:31:58

Thank you, Mumsnet and P&G!

DoItTooJulia England Thu 03-Oct-13 15:01:32

Wow, this is great! The first thing I have ever won!

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 03-Oct-13 14:30:52

Hi - thanks for all the tips and comments.

Am pleased to say the winners are as per below:

£200 John Lewis voucher: NomadMomDiary

P&G hampers:
DoItTooJulia
breatheslowly
turkeyboots
Willemdefoeismine
RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie
Cherrygrape
josiejay
mindingalongtime
Babycarmen
CatFromAcrossTheRoad

MrsSpa Wed 02-Oct-13 21:10:02

For me the key to being able to focus on work is knowing that everything at home is organised (DH or DM is with my DD when I'm at work). It takes maybe an hour of the evening before but I can switch off from home if I know I have left plenty of pumped milk (when DD was younger), folded (washable) nappies, everything tidied so they can find things easily. I also have phone numbers handy and when DD was younger, a rough schedule of her day pinned up.

pickles184 Fri 27-Sep-13 09:24:31

Having a phased return to work really helped me. I was able to convince work to let me do 3 hours a day in the office and the rest from home. It meant that I had to stay up late and squeeze the work in around naps, but I was able to keep breastfeeding and dd had plenty of time to get used to childminder. Over 3 months I gradually increased the hours at work until full time in the office. It was hard work but I think everyone got the best out of the situation. I'm a single mum so I find having another responsible adult to talk to about dd really helpful, I found a real gem with our childminder!
On a day to day basis I find that an hour or so spent on Sunday sorting out meals, clothes and equipment for each day of the week ahead invaluable. Having enough of each type of outfit and a big enough washing machine to do as few loads of washing each week. Learn that less is more with make-up and embrace sub 5 minute hairstyles. Spend as much time as possible playing, laughing and enjoying each other when you are at home, much better for the soul than cleaning/tidying (I do try to do 15mins per evening once dd asleep), relax your standards on housework.. If you can afford to outsource cleaning, ironing, gardening etc. definitely do and as others have said internet shopping is your friend.

iwillbrushmyteethbefore10am Thu 26-Sep-13 17:21:55

Keep an eye on the weather and put washing on line the night before a nice day - saves doing it in the morning.

pussinwellyboots Wed 25-Sep-13 15:05:32

Is/was this the case for you? What would have helped you feel more relaxed about going back to work? What things did your colleagues/partner do to help with the transition? What are your top tips for mums returning to work after having a baby?

Each time I returned to a new job, so had to establish myself from scratch The most important thing for me has been to have childcare that I am confident in so that I can leave my children and not to have to think about things at home too much. General organisation at home, meal planning and the like has also been valuable.

nerysw Mon 23-Sep-13 11:05:37

I only had a few KIT meetings with my line manager but the staff at my place of work were great so I didn't feel I'd been forgotten about. Luckily my partner was great about sharing chores and child ferrying duties which really helped if I felt I had to stay later at work and stopped my worrying as much as our families are quite a distance away. I didn't have a bad time of it but I still felt it took me almost a year to get my confidence back and properly get back in my stride.

Neeko Sun 22-Sep-13 22:06:15

Oh and keep two make up bags. One with the absolute essentials for every day and a big one for all the occasional stuff. It's much quicker to get ready if you're not wading through 20 eyeliners for your concealer smile

celestialbows Sun 22-Sep-13 21:32:35

i had a horrible time returning to work, i was still in the throes of PNd and the atmosphere was horrible but I was really struggling at home too so I couldn't work out what was the best option!
i think if you can use leave to ease yourself in gently that would really help, and if you can trust somebody at work let them know you're feeling a bit wobbly!

Neeko Sun 22-Sep-13 21:32:09

For me it was lists, lists and more lists. Lists of what we need each day, bins out, what goes in nappy bag, school bag, lunch bags etc.
As many things as possible made ready the night before: clothes looked out, sandwiches made and in fridge, ingredients for next day's dinner looked out.
A slow cooker and a large freezer are essentials. A large cooker allows you to batch cook and store for easy meals and store chips and pizza for days when only carbs will do and you can't beat coming home to the smell of dinner in the slow cooker.
I typed up a list of all our usual weekly shop and put a tick next to things when we run out. Makes it much easier to keep the cupboards stocked.

Elainey1609 Sun 22-Sep-13 17:34:10

Keep in touch with work colleagues so you know what is going on and anything new.
Make sure you use you keep in touch days and settle your children in to childcare before you are fully back to work
You you yourself are comfortable with the situation
Take one day at a time and maybe treat yourself to a new top, make up or perfume what ever will make you feel a little bit more confident on your first day
Plan your first day and think of the positives ...adult company and conversation
You will also appreciate your free time more

Oceansurf Sun 22-Sep-13 15:07:04

I've put my DD in childcare 3 weeks ahead of returning to work, so that I can be sure she is happy and settled there. So far, although I've paid for 2 full days a week, the longest she has stayed is 6 hours. However, when I do return to work and do the 8 hours, it won't seem such a shock to her.

Plus I have complete confidence in the nursery workers, and I've been able to get to know the other babies and their parents (as I haven't had to drop and rush off)

Next week, I will literally be dumping!

It was frightening and involved a lot of pretending for quite a while. But it helps strangely to enjoy the things you don't otherwise have, e.g. A lunch time with no children hanging off you as you dash to get a sandwich / mess about on MN!

DoctorGilbertson Sun 22-Sep-13 07:36:12

Is/was this the case for you?

[no, I had been working from home for a long stretch before returning to the work place so I was already in a work mode]

What would have helped you feel more relaxed about going back to work?

[having a nicer wardrobe of clothes]

What things did your colleagues/partner do to help with the transition?

[we have recently bought a dishwasher and a tumble dryer. They have revolutionised my life]

What are your top tips for mums returning to work after having a baby?

[get up at 5am and get all your jobs done while the electricity is still on economy 7]

josiejay Sun 22-Sep-13 02:26:32

It's hard to find the willpower to get up before your baby does, but if you can get yourself ready before they wake it makes everything much calmer, and it makes you feel like you're stealing a bit of extra baby time.

When I go to work this time I intend to do batch freezer cooking once a month to avoid the horrible 'what's for tea?' stress (I'm cranky when hungry!)

Turnipvontrapp Sat 21-Sep-13 23:29:19

Don't spend a day off cleaning. Fit in 5 minutes here and there to do small jobs. It makes a big difference. Utilise every spare minute!

Order things you need but don't have time to shop for off amazon, then they get delivered to you.

loopyloou Sat 21-Sep-13 18:12:52

"Is/was this the case for you? What would have helped you feel more relaxed about going back to work? What things did your colleagues/partner do to help with the transition? What are your top tips for mums returning to work after having a baby?"

I think it would be helpful to get your child used to attending nursery/the childminder BEFORE you have to start work, so that you can be sure they are happy and settled and have one less thing to worry about.

Starting back at work on a gradual basis and building up to however many hours you are going to do would help, maybe going back for one day per week for a month, then building up slowly.

Having a boss and colleagues that understand how difficult it is to leave your young children behind and be separated from them all day would be a great help and also to feel that you can make a phone call to check they are ok without being judged.

My best tip: Get EVERYTHING ready the night before so that in the morning you can be reasonably calm. Don't pick a fight over anything with your child before going to work or you will feel guilty all day.

ali991 Sat 21-Sep-13 17:27:14

I found it really hard returning to work. My mum gave me a locket with my sons picture in, it really helped.

Babycarmen Sat 21-Sep-13 14:56:50

My top tip would be to put your child into nursery/childminder a week or 2 before you start back, so that they have time to get used to it with you being there, or you popping back and forth so that when you start they are well settled. It was SUCH a weight of my mind knowing my DD was happy and settled at her nursery as the first week when she started she cried when I dropped her off which made it impossible for me to concentrate at work/studying.

bealos Sat 21-Sep-13 10:03:02

Get a cleaner! Use Internet shopping!

Have a mirror by the front door so you can check your shoulders/back for baby sick and wipe off with a cloth!!

Set up your own business or go freelance. Being your own boss is infinitely better once you've had kids.

kateandme Fri 20-Sep-13 22:17:24

go to your managers office beforehand so you can maybe check on what you missed or need to be informed of.if theres anything you can do.this will put you in good stead and jsut feel more at ease.
keep in touch with collegues if you were friends.it helps to have smoely faces to go back to

make sure your partner doesnt make you feel more guilty about leaving your child!!

Uzma01 Fri 20-Sep-13 21:45:56

Best thing would be to make a plan for all the jobs that need doing - get hubby and kids (if they're old enough) to help. Plan meals/shopping; get things ready ahead of time, keep a wall planner somewhere noticeable - colour code activities/meetings/reminders etc.

eteo Fri 20-Sep-13 21:33:57

To be honest, just dont let your emotion make you feel bad.
Sleep early and sort out everything the night before

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