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Share your top tips for parental leave and getting back into the workplace with Pearson - £300 voucher to be won

(140 Posts)
EllieMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 02-May-19 12:42:34

Parental leave is a time that can be filled with so many different emotions from excited, happy, anxious to a little overwhelmed. There is also a lot of information out there about how to return to the workplace and for many the difficulty is finding a job that allows them to either be part time or allows flexible working. But most importantly it is a life changing period of time for both fathers and mothers alike. With that in mind Pearson would like to know all your best parental leave tips and how you got back into the workplace.

Here is what Pearson has to say: “*Examiner and Standards Verifier, Heidi McEntee who is mum to three* (6,3,1), explains the benefits of her role within Pearson and how it fits around her role as a mum. “You can pick how much or how little work you take on. I can reduce my workload to suit what kind of life I want to have with my children, even now as a Senior Standards Verifier.” When asked if she’d recommend the role to other mums she said, “Yes, I would definitely recommend to other mums. Due to the flexibility of the role it means I can attend all of the events at my son's school, which is something I couldn't do before. I can drop my kids off and pick them up from school which I am incredibly thankful for.”

Pearson has maintained a friendly attitude to parental leave throughout, Kevin Lyons, Senior HR at Pearson says, “We actively promote flexible and agile working and also have many remote workers, and have seen excellent take up of shared parental leave. We see work as an activity and not a place, and are committed to a culture of effective working in a flexible and agile way”

What helped you return to the workplace after being on parental leave? Do you have any tips for getting back into the swing of your new life? How did you make sure you were still able to have time with family as well as working again? Do you have any tips or great pieces of advice for how to get prepared on parental leave?

Whatever your tips are for maternity leave and returning back to the workplace, let us know on the thread below and everyone who does will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £300 voucher of their choice (from a list).

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw

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Starlight2004 Thu 02-May-19 16:07:08

The most important thing is not putting too much pressure on yourself to be perfect and be everything to everyone! It's going to be a big adjustment so be prepared fo it to be a bit of a emotional rollercoaster. smile

sarat1 Thu 02-May-19 17:14:03

Don't put pressure on yourself to return too early, do not have unrealistic expectations about life being the same as it was before, and do take care of yourself as the return to work is tough on a number of levels, especially if trying to keep expressing milk

WhatWouldLeighAnneTwohyDo Thu 02-May-19 17:23:33

I think it's really important to be flexible about how the plan matches up with the reality. I'd planned to go back to work full-time and had arranged work hours that dovetailed with my husband's so that we could both work and both spend time with the baby, and really thought I had the perfect arrangements in place. The reality was somewhat different, and our relationship with each other really suffered for lack of enough overlap time when we were all together as a family or could spend time together as a couple. My employer was (grudgingly) willing for me to go part-time but my husband's employer wouldn't even consider letting him do the same. We cobbled our arrangements together for the best part of a year but finally ended up setting up our own business together and haven't looked back. We can co-parent and also have the flexibility to be there at the school gate, attend events and meetings for our children, and cover sick time without all the stress of trying to factor in an employer (or two). It's not at all what we expected to be doing but it works for us.

BristolMum96 Thu 02-May-19 18:27:07

Plan in advance. Practice in advance. (For any new childcare runs etc). Don't worry too much. Don't expect too much.

JC4PMPLZ Thu 02-May-19 20:58:35

Enjoy it! Share it, if you can. Use Kit days if offered.

OrdinarySnowflake Thu 02-May-19 21:24:22

Do not make the mistake of the first long time you leave your DC with the new childcare being your first day back in the office, be it a KIT day or back to work properly. I accidentally had to pay for extra childcare when I went back after DC1 (lined up childcare then dates moved due to work offering me a new role that wasn't ready to start for another 2 weeks), and it was good for me to not have to have the stress of first long period leaving DC1 and the stress of back to work in a new role.

(Also, going back into a new role, not great!)

Someaddedsugar Thu 02-May-19 21:57:30

I think it's important to make sure that you are 100% happy with childcare that has been arranged and that the timings will work for you, your role and your family.

I also think it's key to have a return to work meeting with your line manager/senior manager regarding your role, what has happened over the duration of your maternity/paternity leave, how the team has developed/changed (if applicable) and to raise any concerns you may have with schedules that don't require a formal flexible working request.

I think another key point, as mentioned by a pp, is to be as flexible as you can within your own plans - your childcare might not work as planned, your role may require hours that you didn't think of, or you may decide to change roles.

MrsFrTedCrilly Thu 02-May-19 22:50:47

Plan but remain flexible, however well you’ve planned life will throw surprises at you.
Make use of KIT days if you can and don’t expect to go back to exactly as it was before. Be realistic in your expectations of yourself and your colleagues.

Asuwere Fri 03-May-19 08:22:57

You need to be happy with and trust any childcare you have in place so you don't have to worry about how the child/children are while at work.
Also be prepared to change you arrangements if it doesn't seem to be working.

cornflakes5 Fri 03-May-19 08:51:07

What helped you return to the workplace after being on parental leave? Do you have any tips for getting back into the swing of your new life? How did you make sure you were still able to have time with family as well as working again? Do you have any tips or great pieces of advice for how to get prepared on parental leave?

My work promotes work life balance, and has been understanding about my need to be flexible and leave early for pick-ups. My best tip is to be clear about this so people know when to expect - and when not to expect - you to be available. Also, don't feel guilty about going back to work. Your baby needs to learn independence, and start to have a life outside of their relationship with you. It's all very healthy and normal, and good for their development in the long run.

voyager50 Fri 03-May-19 09:09:40

If it's at all possible, both practically and financially, don't go back full time straight away - ease yourself in gently and start with just 2 or 3 days a week.

GoodPlaceJanet Fri 03-May-19 11:23:11

If you find it emotional like I did try to focus on the small positives like getting to go to the loo alone! Hot drinks! The new adventures your baby will be having with family or in childcare!

You'll all get into your new routine soon enough and the thought of returning is almost always worse than the reality.

Ribeebie Fri 03-May-19 11:41:46

Plan ahead! Don't put too much pressure on yourself, and use your kit days to ease you back in. Plan who's doing nursery drop off pick ups - I've got hubby to practice leaving work in time to pick up DS from nursery before he starts so that he's in the habit of it!

allthingsred Fri 03-May-19 12:43:12

Plan in advance. Make sure your comfortable with your childcare choices.

Don't put pressure on yourself, things will be different good employers know how hard it is firstly going back to work after having a baby & secondly balancing family & work life.

Get a good morning routine, getting kids to school/nursery/childminders
Packing lunches getting yourself to work can be chaotic a good routine will help that

sharond101 Fri 03-May-19 14:25:57

Take enough time. Children are only young once.

TellMeItsNotTrue Fri 03-May-19 15:21:48

Make sure you are keeping up with any changes that happen while you are away if possible, this could be doing a but if reading while DC sleep or an online course. It makes it a lot easier to slot back in if you are up to date, and you won't feel as much pressure on yourself when you first to back. It also shows willing and looks good when you go back that you've done that off your own back, so they are more likely to be that bit more flexible with you when you need it if they can, as you've saved them time and expense, and exceeded expectations

Chocolate50 Fri 03-May-19 21:39:49

Get to know your employers family & maternity / paternity policies & make sure that your line manager is aware of these as well - it'll help you ease back in & plan how you will do it. Also - start small, prepare your time as well as you can

NotWeavingButDarning Fri 03-May-19 23:27:17

Sunday planning and calendar organizing 'meetings' over coffee and croissants for the upcoming week.

del2929 Fri 03-May-19 23:41:42

for me it has to be
make sure childcare arrangements are to your satisfaction- sometimes we feel pressurised to go back to work that we settle for 2nd best

scarfattack Sat 04-May-19 08:23:44

Depending on your job it can be hard to do what you'd prefer regarding leave. Not all workplaces are flexible with returning. I wanted to take a year each time and my first employer was begrudgingly understanding. I think they expected me back after 9 months. It made me feel comfortable and I had to bring work home before I wanted to. I'm in a different job now and returning after my third was easier though by this time we were feeling the dip in money and the need to go back for financial reasons was stronger than the need to stay with my baby.

purpleclaire Sat 04-May-19 10:48:23

You may plan to go back to work part-time or even full-time, but be realistic. Your own quality of life and your child's well-being are more important than your job. I realise that we all need an income, but in those early years, be prepared to be flexible with work and look at alternative employment.

goldenretriever1978 Sat 04-May-19 11:02:12

Prepare the night before, be friendly and don't expect perfection with anything.

MakeTeaNotWar Sat 04-May-19 12:30:44

I spent far too much of my maternity leave worrying about my return to work. I wished I had parked work for a while and concentrated more on the present. Second time round, I didn't allow my manager to pressure me into KIT days and it was much less stressful

SageYourResoluteOracle Sat 04-May-19 14:39:29

Be kind to yourself- it can be tough. But equally, if you love the fact that you can go for a pee by yourself and drink a hot drink when it's hot whilst also really enjoying the stimulation of working and adult conversation then don't feel guilty. Also: cleaner- consider getting one and batch-cook!

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