By Bianca Hartley, Head of communications at BrightHR

Accept you'll need to be flexible

Accept you'll need to be flexible

Strike the work-life balance

Work-life balance. A phrase that's used a lot, but it really came into focus when I became a mum. You've suddenly got children that you need to get home for. Speaking to your employer and being frank about your new needs will make the transition into being a working parent a lot easier.

I'm lucky that my team believe in work-life balance which stops me feeling guilty when I have to leave early to fetch my children and equally stops me feeling guilty about leaving them to go to work in the first place.

Accept you'll need to be flexible

Kids fall ill, there will be assemblies, parents' evenings and a whole host of other things that we need to be around for. That's why flexible working should be an ongoing option, offered to both mothers and fathers. It's important to be able to choose how and where you work in order to be the most productive. It will make you feel healthier, happier and more efficient.

Respect your boss and they'll respect you

Build a relationship with your employer that's based on mutual respect. At BrightHR I'm trusted and allowed to work in a way that suits me and this means I always give 100% back! If you can prove to your boss that you can successfully manage your own time being a working parent will become a whole lot easier.

Utilise your new skills

Parents returning to work don't just return with sleepless nights and schools runs, they re-enter with rich experiences and a new take on life and work that everyone can benefit from. The best things parents bring back to work are great organisation and a sharp focus on priorities, with so much to juggle and a hard deadline for getting home, there's no time for procrastination. Make the most of your new skill set; you've got lots to bring to the table!

Cut yourself some slack

The transition back to work after becoming a parent is daunting, particularly in a day where technology in ever changing it's easy to feel as though you have been left behind with lots to catch up on. I've twice returned to the workplace following maternity leave, and the thing that helped me settle back in was having a supportive employer and colleagues who made the transition not only easy, but enjoyable. Ask for help when you need it and take your time to learn and get back into the swing of things. Being a parent is a tough job and being a working parent can make it even tougher; cut yourself some slack!

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