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The Maternity Coach

an empty office

Top tips for returning to work during Covid-19 pandemic

If you are on maternity leave during 2020, things probably aren't going quite as you planned. Baby groups and classes may have moved online if they are running, and you will probably be missing face to face support from family and friends. However, you may have had more support than anticipated if your partner is working from home or furloughed.

If you are feeling conflicted in your thoughts and feelings when thinking about returning to work, you are not alone. Even during 'normal times' I hear lots of different thoughts and feelings from clients such as feeling daunted and excited, worrying about balancing work and home life or how to find time for yourself.

However, at the moment these feelings are compounded by concerns around the safety of

returning to work and the current lack of childcare provision. You may also be feeling a sense of grief, of having the maternity leave you planned and hoped for 'stolen' from you.

If you are a key worker returning to the front line you will be thinking of how you manage the risk of potentially passing Covid to your family, and how you organise child care as a result.

At the other end of the spectrum, your 'return to work' might be turning on your work lap top at home and joining the population of working parents trying to juggle work and child care.

With so much uncertainty around at the moment I thought it would be useful to put together some tips to support you at this time. I hope you find them useful.

1. Check in with how you’re feeling regularly

Being aware of your emotions makes them easier to manage.

2. Write down any concerns

This makes them easier to deal with and helps you to stay in the present.

3. Make a plan

With things starting to open up, what would you like to do out and about before you return to work?

4. Get help at home if you are feeling swamped

Prioritise what really needs to be done and don't try and tackle it all yourself.

5. Look after yourself

It's hard with everyone at home, but try to find even half an hour for yourself.

6. Keep in touch with your work / manager

This is especially important at the moment as guidelines are being regularly updated.

7. Allow plenty of time to plan your return to work.

It takes time to negotiate any changes to your working pattern and how you will manage child care alongside work.

8. Seek help if needed

Speak to your friends, family or your GP if you find you're struggling.

Wishing you a safe return to work!

Frances x