Return to the Workforce with Ease.
By Jennifer Farrell
Returning to work while you have an infant/toddler baby is most often described by moms as stressful, difficult, emotional and exhausting. How could it not be? Suddenly you're facing new challenges, having new experiences, taking on new responsibilities (above the already staggering ones you maintain as a parent). Returning to the work force is the time when you begin to formally assert your independence from the family unit, dole our responsibilities and give up some (but not all) of your control. Sound scary? It doesn't have to be. When you are prepared it can be exhilarating and exciting. Follow my plan for returning to work and you will slide back into the workforce with confidence and grace.
One Month before Returning to Work
- In conjunction with your employer and partner, choose your start date;
- After interviewing schools or daycare centers, choose the environment that works best for your infant or toddler;
- Make an appointment at your favorite salon for a week before your start date;
- Start thinking about house hold responsibilities, who will take on what and imagine how it will work (this will help you visualize potential problems and brainstorm functional solutions; a mom'ified version of risk management);and,
- Purchase a Mom Agenda Kitchen Folio or Calendar to track family schedules and appointments.
Two weeks before Returning to Work
Meet with your employer outside the office. Bring your Mom Agenda and a good pen (I recommend the new Sharpie Pen, its fantastic!). Determine back to work specifics such as:
- Hours of operations;
- Expected overtime;
- Meetings that might impact end of day pick-up at daycare; and,
- Vacation and Sick Day allowances.
If re-entering the same company
- Turn Over or New Employees (especially if they are yours);
- Pay Periods;
- Benefits (specifically how to add your child or spouse if not already added); and,
- Pension Plans.
Meet with your caregiver. Bring your child. This is an information gathering visit lasting about an hour.
- Bring your routine pre-printed in a legible font;
- Special instructions;
- Emergency numbers;
- Contracts to sign (if any); and,
- Discuss daily, weekly, or monthly rate. Pay Schedule. Receipts.