5 Top Tips For Fathers Returning to Work After Paternity Leave
You’re a proud new father and have had two delightful weeks of paternity leave with your new bundle of joy. Now the time comes to go back to work and carry on bringing in the daily bread for the family. Settling back in and coping with all your new responsibilities as a father will take a bit of work, but it can be done. Here are a few tips to make life that little bit more straightforward:
Have a plan
You’ll need a plan now. Just because you’re a new father it doesn’t mean you can rock up to work late every day, so divide up the responsibilities in a way that allows you to leave the house on time. The plan has got to be flexible enough for you to cope with curve balls and variables like lack of sleep and not having enough time to do certain errands etc.
Get ready to feel guilty
Unfortunately, you’ll feel a sense of guilt when you go back to work. There’s nothing like the challenge(s) of raising a child — returning to work will feel like a walk in the park compared to getting up in the middle of the night and feeding them, changing their nappies, etc. Listen to your partner’s needs and respond to them so that they can cope while you’re back at work. Then the guilt will subside
Thank your colleagues
Everyone has responsibilities while they’re at work. Someone’s got to pick up the slack while you’re away — and it will be your co-workers. They’ll have been performing your duties to keep things running smoothly. Don’t forget to thank them with a gift when you return. A bottle of wine or lunch is always a good idea.
Ask your partner to send a picture of the baby each day
It’s going to be hard to tear yourself away from your little one just to go in and work with spreadsheets, PowerPoint or Photoshop all day. You won’t want to miss them growing up while you’re in the office — and you don’t have to. You can ask your partner to send a picture each day. The feeling of missing out will subside gradually.
Set a few boundaries
There’s no call to be aggressive, but you’ll have to set a few boundaries when you’re at work. You can’t just leave your partner with the baby all evening because you hope the meeting you’re in will get back on track eventually. If a meeting is dragging or not going down the direction it’s supposed, move things along and bring it back to the initial point of the meeting.
It’s fab being a dad. You’ll have to juggle your responsibilities, which won’t be easy to do at first, but once you get into the swing of things, you’ll be fine. A happy fatherhood and a happy career await you when you achieve that balance.
By Peter Jenkins