Juggling work, childcare and quality time with your baby can be difficult, but if you plan ahead you can take some of the strain out of your new routine.
Being reliable and on time shows respect for your child's carer, so make every effort to be there when you say you will.
Always let the carer know if there's going to be a change to your agreed arrangements. And remember, some nurseries will fine you if you're late picking up your child.
Once you're back at work, explain your childcare arrangements to your employer and make it clear that you'll need to leave at a particular time to pick up your child.
You may want to arrange for your partner to collect your child a certain number of times each week, to give you more flexibility.
- Make food such as bolognese sauce or casseroles in bulk and freeze portions so you don't have to cook every night.
- Lay out everything you'll need the night before to save time in the morning. Don't get dressed until the last minute or you'll risk being daubed with breakfast cereal or milk.
- Don't waste time at the supermarket, order online instead.
- Aim to do a load of washing every day. Little and often is better than facing a huge mountain at the weekend.
Parents often feel guilty about leaving their child with someone else. To help you cope with this, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is your child being cared for by someone you trust?
- After two weeks, does your child seem settled with the carer?
- Are you able to concentrate on your work while you're there?
- Is your job necessary, either because you need the money or because you want to be doing it?
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