Parenting Lesson 34 - Balancing work and your child

Topics covered in this lesson-

  1. How to join back in your job?

  2. What kinds of things should I look for in a childcare facility?

  3. How can I make separations easy for my child? (while leaving for office, etc)

  4. When should I disclose about my pregnancy in office?

How to join back in your job?

Before you re-engage with a former employer, consider first the circumstances around your departure. If you were let go, burned bridges with your old boss, or disliked the company culture, then it may not be the best move to go back. Even if you take on a different role within the company, you’ll still be unhappy if the culture is the same. Yet, if you left on good terms and the reasons for leaving were benevolent (e.g., couldn’t pass up a great opportunity, wanted to gain some new skills, needed to scale back for personal reasons), then it’s worth seeing where the rekindled relationship goes.

Connect with your old manager. Nick Glassett, co-founder of Origin Leadership Group, says the first person you should approach is your old boss – and do so in person if possible. “When you decide that you want to go back, don’t apply online without speaking to your former supervisor, and don’t email them,” Glassett says. “Here’s why: He [or] she is going to want to know why you want to come back, and they are likely to have some strong feelings on the matter. When you go straight to them, and they find out from you, with you present, you get to control the narrative.” It is recommended being brutally honest with them about why you left. “If it was because of the leadership, or lack thereof, tell your former supervisor that. If it was money, tell them the amount that lured you away. Was it the workload, or you weren’t learning or being challenged? Whatever the reason, tell them and do not sugar coat it.”

What kinds of things should I look for in a childcare facility?

Look down: When you're visiting a potential site, pay attention to how the staff interacts with the children. Ideally, a caregiver should be on the floor playing with the kids or holding one on her lap. In their early years, babies need close, loving, interactive relationships with adults in order to thrive. That's why it's especially important that babies' first caregivers be warm and responsive, and that even in group care, infants and older babies get a healthy dose of one-on-one time.

Ask for a commitment: Babies need consistent, predictable care. It helps them to form a secure attachment to their caregivers. If you're looking at an in-home caregiver, request that the person you're considering make a one-year commitment to the job.

Do a policy check: Find out whether you share parenting philosophies on topics such as discipline (Do the caregivers use time-outs, scolding?); television (Is the TV on all day or used sparingly, if at all?); feeding (What snacks or drinks are provided for older babies?); sleeping (When are naps offered? How are fussy babies put to sleep?); and so forth. Inquire about the sick-child policy (What symptoms prevent a child from attending?).

Drop by and spy: While word-of-mouth referrals from other parents or trusted resources are important, you need to look at a place for yourself to assess whether it meets your needs. Of course, any child-care environment should be kept clean, childproofed, and well stocked with sturdy books and toys that are age appropriate.

Trust your gut: Every parent knows when something doesn't feel quite right. You may be turned off by a centre everyone in town raves about or clash with a highly recommended sitter. If that happens, keep searching.

Be open to change: You're not married to a person or situation, and if things don't work out, you can always make a switch. Yes, you want consistency for your baby, but that doesn't mean you can't alter arrangements. Babies are resilient; if they're having a positive experience with their new caregiver, they'll be just fine

How can I make separations easy for my child? (while leaving for office, etc)

3 Tips for Parenting Separately…Yet Successfully

For the most successful outcome, keep the following three tips in mind:

1. Avoid a cookie cutter approach to life after divorce. One of the biggest mistakes I see parents make is instead of making a plan that fits their children’s lives, they try to make their children lives fit a plan. Do your best to base decisions around your CHILDREN’S needs. What works for one family might not work for you. Before developing arrangements, think about what life was like for your kids BEFORE the divorce. Ask yourself: How will you maintain your child’s active relationship with both parents? How will you provide them with flexible structure? For example, if Dad took Billy to baseball practice every Tuesday and Thursday, then he should continue doing that. If Mom picks up the kids every afternoon because Dad works till 6 o’clock, do your best to maintain those routines and connections for your kids. It may also help to put things into perspective and look at the big picture. How will the choices you are making today affect your children’s lives one year from now, five years from now? Bottom line: Think outside the box. Don’t limit your options to court-based solutions.

2. Support a two-home concept. Children benefit MOST when they feel connected to both homes. Don’t talk about one home as their “real” home and the other household as a place to visit. If you can’t provide your children with their own room then create a special space where they can keep their things and find them when they’re with you. It’s also important to avoid using legalese, ditch words like visit, visitation, custody, residential parent, non-residential parent, etc. Instead talk about time with Mom, time with Dad, Mom’s house, Dad’s house and instead of custody arrangements use phrases like parenting schedules or parenting time.

3. Don’t be a broker of time. Arrangements should NOT be about fairly dividing the hours and minutes of your children’s day-to-day lives. Avoid focusing exclusively on how much time Johnny is spending with you. Instead, put your energy into thinking about how you will make Johnny’s time with you meaningful.

Parents often ask me if sharing equal time between homes is a good idea. My answer is usually that depends. Equal time in each household is not going to help your kids if they are living in the middle of a war zone.

When should I disclose about my pregnancy in office?

Most women prefer to inform their employer after the 12th week as many families traditionally believe that a pregnancy should only be disclosed after that period.

However, you may need to tell your employer much sooner, if you have complications or conditions that may affect the way you work. If your doctor prefers you avoid any travel, for example, you'll need to let your employer know why you can't travel.

When you're ready, you must tell your employer the following:

● That you are pregnant and intend to go on maternity leave.

● The planned date that you will be starting your maternity leave. You may also plan to work up to the last day before delivery. In such a case, you need not disclose the date right away.

● That you understand that the company rules with respect to maternity leave and you would like to know if they need any pregnancy-related documentation from you.

● Check with your boss if he would like to receive the notification formally. Also, ask him if the company policy requires you to disclose the news to the HR department immediately. Or you might also want to check with HR directly about the policy and procedures, depending on how it generally works in your organisation.

Maternity leaves as per your company’s policies. In most of the private and government companies it is 24 weeks