Five tips for returning to work with a baby

By Ness Stonnill, Founder of Job Pair & Flex Coach


1. Be willing to adapt because life doesn't stay the same for very long

Everyone encounters constant change in life, but the rate of change and need to embrace it is particularly heightened for new mothers, and even greater for those who return to work.


Ironically, it was writing this article that I realised adaptability is the most important thing any mum needs when juggling motherhood and running her own business. A few things that have helped me adapt at such a rapid pace these past few months are surrendering to mess, being more self-compassionate and intuitive, and the saying ‘don’t fight it; ride with it’.


2. Believe in yourself

A positive mindset and talking kindly to yourself are so important in being able to manage work, family and personal commitments. If you’re like me and great at coaching others but can be hard on yourself saying ‘talk to yourself like you’d talk to someone you love’ is a great way to nurture self-compassion and self-confidence. Believe you can do it and good things will happen.


3. Be present in what you do

This cartoon sums it up.


Many working mums find this tricky. I’m really mindful of being present in what I am doing. I find I am more effective and enjoy what I’m doing so much more by being in the moment.


4. Trust your instincts

What’s your gut telling you? You know better than anyone else what is right for you, your baby and your career so listen to and trust your intuition.


Sometimes it can be a battle of head versus heart. Trust following your gut instincts.


5. Accept & seek help

I used to think I needed to do everything and asking for help showed weakness. Then I realised I can’t do it all and the most ‘successful’ (and wise) people are great at accepting and asking for help.


Whether it’s for you, your baby, around the house, at work, mental support, emotional support or physical support, help is available. Family and friends can be of great support, as can hired help and support groups like mothers’ groups and business networks. These days I embrace any help offered and I seek support for things I can’t or don’t want to do.