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5 Back-to-work tips for moms

Mary Fetzer is a freelance writer and marketing consultant with a marketing degree from Penn State University and 15 years of international business experience. Mary specializes in writing about parenting, children, pregnancy, college, h...

Full time mom to full time job

Many moms are finding themselves brushing off their resume and going back to work after being home with the kids. Whether you are heading back to the workplace because your husband has lost his job or are ready to jumpstart your career now that your kids are in school, you can expect some challenges and mixed emotions along the way. These five tips will help you feel better prepared for that first day back.

Working mother with baby

How can you make a successful transition from full-time mom to full-time employee?

1. Make a family decision

"You need to have the support of those around you to be successful in getting back to work," says Allison O'Kelly, CEO of Mom Corps, a staffing company. "Moms are concerned about their family's support of their decision and how it will impact their lives."

Everyone needs to be involved and on board with your decision to return to work. Discuss it with your partner, your older children, and your baby's caretaker. Who will take over some of your at-home duties while you're at work? What do you expect from your family? What do they expect from you?

"It's perfectly okay to ask for help," says Crissy Herron of Honest family discussions will smooth the transition from full-time mother to working mother.

For more advice on making a smooth transition to the workplace, read, 4 stress-less tips for the working mom.

2. Figure out childcare arrangements

Before you go back to work, you need a childcare plan that makes you feel comfortable. There are many childcare options, and only you know which one works best for you.

Test your childcare arrangements well in advance of your return date. Leave your baby with her caretaker so both you and she can adjust to it. Getting a feel for their relationship will help ease your anxiety.

Set aside the guilt you may feel. Jamie Ladge, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Management and Organizational Development at Northeastern University, suggests channeling the guilt into something more productive. "Remind yourself," advises Ladge, "that it is quality of time spent with your child that counts, and that you are a role model for your son or daughter."

Find out your childcare options and how to find the best fit for your family here.

3. Develop a routine

Your first morning back to work is not the time to figure out how to cope with exhaustion from a sleepless night, separation anxiety and all of the other potential problems you may face. Organize your morning routine at least a week before your return.

Make a list of everything you need to accomplish before you leave the house – breakfast, showering, spending time with baby, and learning how to say goodbye. When your first day to work arrives, it'll run like clockwork.

Is your child having a hard time with separation anxiety? Get tips on easing separation anxiety here.

4. Put on your work hat

When you get to work, you have to separate home and work issues. Your employer relies on and compensates you, so it's important to be professional. Your emotions may be especially tender when you first return, but you'll want to resist displaying them in the workplace.

"Show that you are committed and enthusiastic about work," say the experts at, the leading online career center for women. "Your employer wants to know that you will meet work obligations."

But you don't have to pretend that you don't have a baby at home. "You can try to act like nothing has changed, but obviously something has," says Herron. "Embrace that fact that you are a mom and enjoy it." Just don't let it interfere with your job performance.

If you look professional and pulled-together, you will feel that way as well. Read 12 fashion tips for the working mom.

5. Be confident

"Don't let the media, books or friends tell you that you can't balance work and family," says Ladge. "Ultimately, every situation is unique, and only you can determine how maintain that balance."

"Everyone has her own ideal about what makes a good working mother," says Ladge. "The most important ideal is the one you hold for yourself."

We all need help boosting our self-confidence. Read 8 Tips to boost your self-confidence.

Tell us: What is your best tips for moms returning to the workplace? Comment below!

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