Monday, 26 January 2015

Going Back To Work

Going back to work after maternity leave is not something to be taken lightly. Luckily for us it was something we had planned out before I even began my maternity leave but for some it isn't that easy. There are a lot of things to consider when going back to work:

1. Do you want to go back?
If I didn't have to I know I wouldn't be going back. I'd much rather be a stay at home mum, there to look after my baby every minute of the day, but unfortunately that's not financially possible for us. Well it would be if we dropped all hobbies and didn't want to leave the house ever again. We could manage on Gavin's wage alone but it's not the way we want to live. Therefor I need to go back to work, I need to earn a wage. Luckily not as much of a wage as I used to earn so I've been able to take a smaller contract at work. Before I fell pregnant I was working full time in a senior management position in a large retail store, when it came to doing the sums we realised we would need to spend money on childcare if I went back full time and it would eliminate the point in me earning extra. Going back part time meant that I would still earn a decent wage and between Gavin and I and our mothers we would be able to have childcare sorted without spending a penny. If you did decide once your maternity leave was over you didn't want to go back you don't have to pay your maternity pay back. If your employer has only paid you the statutory maternity pay while you have been off then that is your money to keep. However if they have paid you over and above the
SMP then you may be asked to pay that back if you do not return to work.

2. What do you want to go back as?
Just because you finished up in one position doesn't mean you have to go back in that same position. Now this might not be applicable to all jobs and roles but in my place of work it was straight forward enough for me to give up my original position and take a lesser contract. Is there another job you could do within the same company that would mean less hours or a smaller commute?

3. What about another job?
Before I fell pregnant my job pretty much was my life. It's a bit sad to admit that but it's true. Being in a well respected, secure job where I had great prospects was important to me. But now a job is a way to make ends meet. I don't have to love the job, it just has to pay me a wage. Therefor I don't place the same emphasis on the importance of a 'great' job. I'm sure if it paid well and fitted around my baby, I'd pretty much do anything. Luckily my current employers are being very flexible with my availability and being very considerate with the hours I'm being asked to work so I don't need to worry about looking for another job but maybe it would suit your new lifestyle more if you did.

4. Are you over-joyed about going back?
While most mums might be looking for any way to get out of going back to work you might be feeling guilty because you can't wait to go back to work. Don't worry, it doesn't make you a bad mother because you yearn for that routine, the adult company and to get dressed in something that doesn't have baby food encrusted into the sleeve, that's totally fine.

At the end of the day you have to do what works for you and your baby. Explore all the options and chose the best one for you.

Did you have anything different to consider when you went back to work?

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