Life after birth – back to work or work for yourself?

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Life after birth – back to work or work for yourself?
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The bubble of birth may have well and truly popped and you are finally starting to settle into life with children. As you are finding your feet in your new role as a mother, there are certain things that you need to start thinking about in preparation for rejoining the world of work again. Have you decided whether you would want to go back to work after having your child? Or, maybe you would like to stay at home with your children? Maybe you would prefer to combine the two and work for yourself at home. Regardless of what you choose to do, there are a few things you need to consider before joining the work force again.

Going back to work after your maternity leave has ended

Going back to work after your maternity leave has ended - motherhooddiaries

When it’s time to go back to work, ensure that you have a good solid plan in place for how you are going to juggle your dual roles of life at home and at work. Slotting back into your job may seem like a relief from the sleep-deprived and hazy newborn days, but the pressures of having a new baby and keeping on top of your job can become quite arduous. You now have to switch back into professional mode and answer to someone else, which may be a bit of a culture shock after you’ve had two hours of sleep the night before. Make sure you are well prepared and up-to-date with everything that has been going on at work while you have been away, as a lot may have changed in the last nine or so months.

Choosing to become a stay-at-home mum

You may find that before you had your baby you were adamant that you would go back to work the moment you had the chance to recover from birth. And, now you’ve had your baby, your mentality has changed considerably. The financial pressures of finding childcare may seem too much to bear or you are unable to leave your child in the hands of someone else. Whatever the reason is for wanting to stay at home, it all depends on whether you can survive on your partner’s salary alone. Can you afford to give up work? You may well be able to cut living costs and expenses, but you also have to consider long-term job prospects as well. Would you ever consider going back to work at a later date and how easy/difficult would it be to climb that career ladder later on down the line? If you can’t afford to become a stay-at-home mum, but you don’t want to go back to your old job then consider working for yourself as an option to bringing in some money for the family.

Becoming self-employed – working for yourself after you’ve had a baby

Becoming self-employed – working for yourself after you've had a baby - motherhooddiaries

It’s worth looking at the alternatives to employment if having a baby has completely changed your outlook on working in general. Having a baby is a life-changing experience, so a change of heart is quite common amongst new mums. Do you like being your own boss, going freelance and making a bit of money on the side? Working for yourself can be the perfect alternative to working around your family and there are tonnes more options available to working mums now than there have ever been, thanks to entrepreneurial mothers, opening up new businesses and creating new jobs for others. Being self-employed means that you work for yourself, either for your own business or for someone else’s business. But, you dictate your hours, time and fees, so you can be flexible enough to work around your children. The first thing that you would need to do is register yourself as self-employed with the HMRC and then decide whether you want to start your own business or work for someone else.

Self-employed and working for someone else

Self-employed and working for someone else - motherhooddiaries

Careers like PAs, Bookkeepers and VAs (Virtual Assistants) offer flexihours and career options, plus the pay is getting better and more competitive within these industries as well. Roles like Executive PA Courses offer classroom PA Training because it is important to experience face-to-face soft skills training for a people-facing role. Also, it is important to update your skills in order to compete with people leaving university or school with fresh and modernised skills.

Self-employed and starting your own business

Self-employed and starting your own business - motherhooddiaries

If you are looking to start your own business, you would need to first make sure whether your business idea is viable. Is there a market need or are you a professional in your chosen niche? You need to make sure that you can gain a profit from the business so you are making money. Choose the perfect name for your business and do your market research. Create a business plan and work out how you’re going to make money. Make sure you start all the marketing early on in the process, i.e. design your logo, register a domain name and build a website. Ensure your email and website is set up correctly so you can liaise with your clients, build email lists and gain business. There are a number of email verification sites online that can help with this process. Finally, make sure you get your finances in order before you start. A good accounting and cash flow program can help with this. As you plan to grow your business you can use an accountant to sort out the money side of things, but it’s a good idea to start with something simple like Brightbook to log incomings and outgoings related to the business. You can find lots of resources online for setting up your own business from home. A good place to start would be, as this website goes through setting up your own business from the very beginning in simple English.

Whatever you choose to do, it’s important that you think about yourself and your child and what would make you both happy. You don’t always have to conform to what society tells you to do. Sometimes the shoe doesn’t fit everyone.

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Leyla Preston (465 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 5, and Aidan, 4. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked!You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another:

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