4 ways to juggle work and your new baby

By Dr Richard C. Woolfson   — June 21, 2017
  • 1 / 5

    Holding down a job while raising a young baby is never easy, especially when you’ve just returned from four months of maternity leave.

    You have a little one to care for when you get home, and disrupted sleep has left you feeling like a zombie.

    It’s affecting your work performance, and your boss has noticed.

    He keeps telling you that you’re not doing as well or aren’t as fast as you used to be before the break. He wants you to improve quickly, and warns you to be prepared for a bad appraisal if you don’t.

    But don’t despair or feel overwhelmed. There’s a lot you can do to improve the situation.

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  • Have a confidential chat with your boss
    2 / 5 Have a confidential chat with your boss

    Make it clear you’re fully committed to your job. Remind him you’re not asking for any special favours, but add that you hope he’ll recognise that this is a particularly demanding phase for you.

    This discussion probably won’t change his attitude, but it will reinforce to him that you’re taking your return to work seriously.

    Related: Not spending enough time with baby? How to overcome working mum guilt

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  • Think about your current infant care arrangements
    3 / 5 Think about your current infant care arrangements

    Consider ways of either extending the time in day care or using the care hours differently.

    For instance, perhaps you can ask the carer to look after your bub for an extra hour at the end of the day, which will give you more time to recover between work and home.

    Or maybe the carer can attend to her an hour earlier in the morning, so that she cleans, feeds and dresses your baby during that period, instead of you having to cope with these tasks before setting out for work.

    Related: Coping with lack of sleep after your baby arrives

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  • Ask for help from your loved one
    4 / 5 Ask for help from your loved one

    Being a working mum is never easy. It can take a toll on your physical and emotional health. That’s why any additional assistance – over and above that of your day-care arrangement – will have a huge benefit for you.

    What about your husband, parents or in-laws? Or your sibling, relatives or friends?

    Chances are, there’s someone who will be prepared to give an hour of her time to support you – and she’ll have the reward of spending that period in the company of your delightful infant.

    Don’t be afraid to ask. Seeking practical help is not a sign of weakness.

    Related: Back to work after maternity: 6 easy steps 

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  • Reflect on how you use your time at home
    5 / 5 Reflect on how you use your time at home

    Will it really make any difference if your house is cleaned less frequently, or if the washing and ironing are not done so often? Can you cook simpler dinners?

    Do you have to go to the gym or your leisure class, or can these experiences be postponed for a few months until you’re more adjusted to your workload?

    Is it important that you take your baby out as often as you can, or can you and your cutie share more time playing at home?

    Almost certainly, there are some routine tasks that can be reduced or dropped altogether. Even small changes can make a big difference to your sense of well-being, so it’s worth the effort to reorganise your home life.

    Achieving a good work-life balance is a constant challenge, more so when you have a young child at home.

    All it takes is some thought, patience and planning.

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

    Related: No pay, but I chose to be a stay-at-home mum 

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