On going back to work…

At the end of June I’ll be going to work (*sob*), returning to my job as a Project Manager in a busy London advertising agency.

I will have had a year off, and little one will be nearly 11 months old. I had hoped when I went on maternity leave she would have been older when I returned to work, but she was so, so late and I had the first 6 weeks of maternity leave without a baby!

There’s been a lot of discussion among the girls on what we will do when we return to work. Our little one has a place at a local nursery 4 days a week, and I’m currently torn between working part time 4 days a week, or working full time with 4 days in the office and 1 day at home. It will be difficult to do my job part time, and my concern is I’ll end up working full time on 80% of my salary.

I see I have the following options:

  1. Work 4 days a week.
  2. Work 4 days a week in the office, with 1 day a week at home.
  3. Work 9 days in 10, with 1 day in 10 at home, or 2 half days at home.
  4. Work 4 days a week to begin with, and then ramp it up to 5 days a week maybe after Christmas (1 day being a home).

I have loved maternity leave. It’s been a wonderful experience sharing it with my daughter, seeing her grow and making a bunch of fantastic friends at the same time.

What did you do when you returned to work? I’d love to hear how you went about returning to work after maternity leave.

Claire x

A Cornish Mum

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday


  • Laura's Lovely Blog

    It’s a real tough one. My honest advice go back as few days as you can manage as you will miss your daughter terribly and also be prepared for the bugs they pick up in nursery, juggling the days off sick was the worse thing for me. I went back 3 days after my son was born, I worked for 18 months and it was not easy and then I decided and there was a lot of factors to give it all up – not everyone can afford to do so and of course some mummies don’t want that. You need to experience it I think first. But good luck and it is nice to be back in the world of adults too and to pop to the shops in your lunch break without a pram in tow! #picknmix

    • The Pramshed

      Thanks for taking the time to read and to comment. It will be nice to go back to work to have adult conversations and to eat lunch with two hands. It will be really hard, and I know that my daughter will benefit by going to nursery too. I think I will take it easy, starting at 4 days and then possibly ramping up to 5. Watch this space, I’ll be sure to write a blog post about it. Claire x

  • Tracey @ One Frazzled Mum

    I went back to work when my daughter was 9 months old having only taken 9 months and it starting the day I went into labour 5 weeks early. I was lucky to only be working 16-20 hours at the time so I didn’t have this issue. Personally I would go with 4 days a week then maybe 5 after christmas but of course only you will know what feels right when the time comes. Good luck with your decision #KCACOLS

    • The Pramshed

      Thanks for reading and commenting, I think that I will go with that option (if I can) so that I can see how it goes, ramping up my hours slowly. I’ll be sure to write a blog post when the time comes. Claire x

  • Educating Roversi

    I went back four days first (I’m a teacher) however there was the threat of redundancy so myself and a couple of others in the same situation as me offered to drop to three days. It’s nice spending more time with Mini R however I do have to work on my days off, in Naptime and evenings, to get all my work done. #KCACOLS

    • The Pramshed

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Sorry to hear of the redundancy threat that must have been hard, but at least it allows you to spend extra time with your little one. Yes a lot of jobs mean that extra time needs to be put in to get the work completed away from the workplace, a lot of my friends say that. I do hope that doesn’t end up eating into my time at home, which could become stressful. Claire x

  • beautybabyandme

    Good luck on returning to work honey! Never an easy time but it’s nice that you have some options so you can plan your working days to suit you. Look forward to hearing how you get on xx #KCACOLS

    • The Pramshed

      Thanks for reading and commenting. No it’s not an easy thing to decide, and I’m sure come the time I’ll be a blubbering mess. I’ll be sure to write a blog post when the time comes. Claire x

    • The Pramshed

      Thank you for reading and commenting. Yes it’s great that I have that option, I’m sure that whatever I decide to do hopefully I’ll have the flexibility to adapt it based on how things are going. Claire x

  • mrsmumnz

    I am in the very fortunate position that I don’t have to return to work. My husband earns a good wage and we bought our house based on his salary alone to give ourselves options. And I am so thankful that we did. For a bit of extra cash though I have picked up a few hours a weeks child minding for a local mum. But again, I am fortunate in that I get to take my son with me.
    I know of lots of mums who have returned to work though. Most of them work 4 days in the office and 1 day at home. They get the full salary and if they manage their time well they free up the 5th day to spend time with their baby. Good luck on your choice. Doesn’t that first year go so quickly! #KCACOLS

    • The Pramshed

      Thank you reading my post and taking the time to comment. You are very lucky that you do not need to go back to work, and get to spend all that precious time with your son. I think that I will opt for 4 days in the office, and then aim to work the other day of the week at home and hopefully manage my time effectively so that I can spend that day with my daughter. Eight months of maternity leave have completely flown by, time is fast ticking away. Claire x

  • Silly Mummy

    I think it’s always hard to decide things like this, especially as you don’t know what it’ll be like til you do it! Maybe the part time 4 days to start, possibly adding a day at home later would be a good compromise. Then you can see if you do end up working effectively full time but on less pay & will know that it makes more sense to do full time, or you might find that doesn’t happen & having the extra day with little one is the best option for you. Good luck with whatever you decide! #KCACOLS

    • The Pramshed

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I think whatever I decide is going to be difficult, but I think that I will go with 4 days to begin with and see how I get on before deciding whether to ramp it up to 5 days. Claire x

  • A Moment with Franca

    Oh no, this is a tough decisions!You still have time to organise everything for when you are back to work but at the same time it is passing pretty quick, right? I’m not the best example for this answer because when I went back to work after having my first daughter I was working from home so it was much easier than going to the office. I put my daughter 3 times per week to nursery and it was fine. For my 2nd daughter I’m not worried about this anymore because I’m not working as now I’m a SAHM. She is now at nursery during the afternoons. But I would probably try to go to work 4 days a week and have one day working from home. I think that could be a good start. I guess you will need to be checking what is best for you and decide from there. But I’m sure whatever you decide will be fine! Good luck lovely!! Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I would love to see you again next Sunday! 🙂 x

    • The Pramshed

      Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment 🙂 It’s not an easyto decision to make and I’ve got a while to go until I have to finally decide (phew!). I think that I will start with 4 days a week, and see how this is going before I decide whether to work or not work on the other day. You’re so lucky that you are able to be a SAHM, and I’m sure that putting your daughter into nursery allows you to get things done and also for your daughter to develop socially as well as learning at the same time. I’ll be back for #KCAKOLS next Sunday, thank you for hosting. Have a great week. Claire x

  • Squirmy Popple

    I’m in a similar position – I’m due back at work in June and am trying to sort out childcare now. I’m thinking about going back 3-4 days a week – the insane cost of full-time nursery makes it hardly worth it to put her in for 5 days! I honestly don’t know how people can afford it – I make a decent wage, but nursery fees are going to take most of my paycheck.

  • crummymummy1

    I didn’t return to my old job as a news editor, and decided to go freelance instead. It was the best decision I ever made and meant I didn’t have this conundrum. Good luck in whatever you decide! #KCACOLS

  • rebecca | AAUBlog

    it is such a tough decision. I had a job that just wouldn’t fit in with family life and as my husband commutes into London so decided not to work for a bit. I work from home now doing something totally different than I had planned! Working from home sometimes is a great option, though – particularly after a rough teething night – technology is the best!

  • Becster

    It’s a difficult decision and I wish I could offer advice but ultimately it’s whatever you feel comfortable with. I was lucky enough to go back to work and hubby took over my leave. #KCACOLS

  • Robyn

    You’re so lucky to have options, even though it means you have a tricky decision to make. I am job hunting at the moment, I was supposed to go back to work after 4 months and baby is now 15 months, so I feel very lucky to have had the extra time with him and ready to see what the next stage in our life is like. Good luck deciding what to do about your position, whatever you decide it will be the right thing 🙂

    • The Pramshed

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my blog post. Ah that’s so nice that you have had all that extra time with your little boy. Good luck with the job hunt. Claire x

  • Rachel (Lifeathomewithmrsb)

    Ah it’s so tricky! I guess you need to do what you can manage financially. I remember the first year my eldest went to nursery, she was always catching bugs and was off nursery so i was off work. I couldn’t work from home so i have to take dependency leave. Had i been able to work from home or work part time, it would have been much easier and less stressful. I went back when my eldest was 9 months old as they needed me back. I worked part time on a full time wage for 3 months and then went back full time, big mistake. Good luck whatever you choose to do 🙂 #KCACOLS

  • tammymum

    I so don’t envy this decision about returning to work. I wrote a post about what to do – I still haven’t made my mind up either. I don’t think anyone can do it for it you (unfortunately). I hope whatever decision you come to is the right one and if not perhaps trial and error is the key and you keep playing about with it until you find what works. All the best xx #KCACOLS

    • The Pramshed

      Ooh thank you for pointing in the direction of your blog post, I’ll have a read of this once the little one has gone to bed! Thank you for reading this and commenting, it’s a really hard decision and doesn’t need to be made quite yet – I have a few months left before I finally decide. I hope that I have some degree of flexibility to change things should I need to. Hope you manage the find solution for yourself too. Claire x

  • Mrs Lighty

    I think it’s so, so difficult for mums nowadays. For many of us, working is the only option. I was due to go back to my old job, and like you feared having to do a full time job in the space of 4 days. Fortunately I am now starting a new job next week which is just two days (so a huge paycut!) so I hope it’ll all work out (and I hope I’m up to the challenge of a new job too!). Update us on your decision please and how you get on, I’m sure you’ll work it out 🙂 #coolmumclub

  • mummy and monkeys

    Its a tough decision, I really struggled with returning to work this time, but I have friends who found it easy. I hope you manage to find the way that works best for you. Thanks for linking to #PickNMix

    • The Pramshed

      Thanks for reading and commenting, it is a really hard decision and I’m sure I will find it difficult and a bit of a culture shock at the time. Thank you for hosting. Claire x

  • mummuddlingthrough

    Hello from one project manager to another 🙂 Or maybe that should be former project manager…as I was made redundant on mat leave #2. The joke is the most complicated project I’ve ever managed is being a Mum to two kids!
    Your post echoed my feelings on returning to work after my first…I would agree with so many that if you can cut down hours at all it’s going to make life easier…BUT also, fear not – going back to work may not be as bad as you expect. Hot cups of tea and all that…
    Good luck!
    Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub…any jobs going? Just kidding!

    • The Pramshed

      Yes it is definitely the most difficult project I’ve ever done, nothing quite goes to plan or on schedule. Ha ha! Sorry that you were made redundant, I hope it wasn’t too stressful. I’ll let you know how I get on come the end of June. Thanks for hosting, see you next week for #coolmumclub. Claire x

  • Claire at Tin Box Traveller

    I returned to work at the start of February. I haven’t had a ‘normal’ return to work after either period of maternity leave. The first time I was made redundant and found another job while freelancing. This time I have started working back for the same company but as a distance worker. It’s all working out really well for my family even though there’s a bit of travel involved every few weeks. Variety keeps things interesting 🙂 #KCACOLS

    • The Pramshed

      Thank you, so glad that the distance working is working well for you, I hope that you didn’t find it too hard going back after maternity leave. Thanks for reading my post and commenting. Claire x

  • anxiousmummyblog

    I start back at work on 4th April, Aria will only just be 7 months but we are really struggling financially and need my salary. Aria has some health concerns so myself and my husband have managed to work our shifts around her, I will work mornings then he will go to work in the afternoon for backshift. It will be hard as we will never really see each other but at the moment it is what is best for her. It is so difficult to decide what to do, I hope you find the right decision for you and your family, sending a big hug your way! Jemma x #coolmumclub

    • The Pramshed

      Ah that sounds hard hun, I wish you all the best with your return to work, your little one will be absolutely fine. I’m sure that you will find a solution to work for you in the long run. Let us know how you get on, big hug to you too. Claire x

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