Career Advice

Things to Remember When Returning to Work as a Working Parent

Rachael BatesPosted by Rachael
min read

Work is hard. Parenting is hard.

Both? Well that, as I am slowly learning, is a whole other ball game.

Returning to work is a bit like riding a bicycle, you remember how to do it.  Only this time the bicycle is on fire has one flat tyre, the gears don’t change as smoothly as they used to and you have to ride it with no hands. Don’t be too hard on yourself!  Trying to get everything exactly right and in its perfect place will never work.  Yes, yes I know, I’m not the first, nor will I be the last person who has a baby and then decides to go back to work. Heck, I am only one of many within the people2people team.                           

Everyone has a different experience and in my short time back in the office and wrangling an 8-month-old baby (along with 2 dogs and a shift working partner), I’ve learnt a few important things:


  1. Coffee is king. Evidently, my child also thinks that. So, while multiple cups are needed, make sure that: 

    a) you don’t have hot cups near babies (safety first, but who am I kidding, Mums and Dads don’t get to drink their coffee hot!)

    b) your child will inevitably spill the lukewarm/cold coffee all over you! Which brings me to my next point…


  1. Pack a spare shirt. And pants. And jacket. Somewhere between the front door of the house and leaving daycare drop off, you are inevitably going to get covered in something…


  1. Check yourself before you run out the door – are you wearing appropriate workwear and shoes, NOT trackies and Birkenstocks? Is there food in your hair? Have you remembered to brush your hair?


  1. Get a notepad, keep it on you and TAKE NOTES. Baby brain has been proven to be real


  1. Daycare is a cesspool of germs. Your child will get sick, so will you… despite the guilt of not being in the office, your colleagues would rather you don’t share the love


  1. Babies are cute, their poop not so much. You don’t need to share every little detail


  1. Enjoy being back in the adult world, enjoy what you do and make your time in the official count, because when you leave, you need to make the limited time you get with your little one of quality; balance, while hard to achieve, is important.


Yes, you may walk into the office looking a harried, dishevelled monster. But get a coffee and get to it. Things aren’t going to get done by themselves and remember – people do like to see the OCCASIONAL photo of your little ‘angel’