back to work ? - help and advice
Returning to work after having a baby poses particular challenges. Make sure to arrange a return to work date, find child care, and discuss important issues with your boss before you return to work ....more
We've probably all heard the cry- I want to stay at home with my children! But I need money! Don't despair; there are a few avenues for you to be able to realize this dream ....more
Many women at some point ask "Can I afford to be a stay at home mom?", but many do not think it is actually possible. Well, lucky you, because it is ....more
Let’s face it - returning back to work after maternity leave is never fun! This can be especially true if you want to continue breastfeeding and are considering pumping while on the job! Most moms worry about keeping up their milk supply and wonder how to pump quickly and discreetly while still getting their job done ....more
The career climate for women is changing - many mums are successfully fitting work around their home and family life. Today, there are almost one million women-owned businesses in the UK, making up over a quarter of all firms, and the numbers are growing. According to the Office for National Statistics, around half a million women work from home ....more
Returning from maternity leave - by Kum Martin
Returning to work after having a baby poses particular challenges. Make sure to arrange a return to work date, find child care, and discuss important issues with your boss before you return to work. You don’t want these issues cropping up your first day back. Try to select a day in the middle of the week so your first week is brief. Your boss will likely be willing to help you adapt to your new responsibilities. Organizing your time is important, and develop a system that doesn’t leave too much on your plate.
Planning will help, but know that sometimes unexpected things will happen and try to prepare for those ahead of time. Even if things don’t go wrong, you may feel depressed anyway, though you can balance this by taking more time for yourself and having hobbies. Don’t forget to get plenty of sleep; this will help you return to your previous weight as well. Concerning breastfeeding, make sure to identify places where you will be able to breast pump, store supplies, and store your milk. Milk should last 10 hours warm and 8 days in the refrigerator. If you feel comfortable discussing it with your boss, try to arrange regular times when you can pump. Pack extra blouses in case you have some leakage. It will be important for your able to learn the bottle as well, so introduce these in advance of your return to your job. That said, you should nurse your baby each time on returning home.
Yes or No to Working From Home?? - by Emma Rhoades
We've probably all heard the cry- I want to stay at home with my children! But I need money!
Don't despair; there are a few avenues for you to be able to realize this dream. The government has introduced incentives for a woman to leave the workforce and to have children- "to keep our population growing" The most talked about incentive is the 'baby bonus'. Originally it was a lump sum payment of $A3,000 per child, payable on birth to cover the costs of having a baby. This payment has now increased to A$4,000 per child.
Well, this is all well and good, but what happens 12 months down the track when the costs of living are skyrocketing and staying at home with your precious ones, just isn't working out the way it was meant to.
Putting your child into daycare to return to the workforce is the first option. So, you start looking for centres or even family based care. What you find is that there are waiting lists everywhere! Some for over a year, before you can get your child into the centre. You also find that the costs of childcare are absolutely ludicrous! Even though the government will subsidise these costs, for many, they are only working to pay transport and daycare costs.
So, what do you do?
You need money but you also need to be able to do something from home that will earn you the income you need. There are many options out there- but you need to ensure that you look into each one sufficiently to make sure it's right for you. There are options in party plan, network marketing, mystery shopping and paid surveys just to name a few.
When enquiring into each field, ensure you ask the right questions for you-not what anyone else has told you, nor their thoughts or opinions. Don't be put off by those concepts asking for a small fee for more information- this is only to determine how serious are about working from home- think of it as a pre-qualification interview. Just do ensure, however, that your money is able to be refunded, and that you can view the website owners' contact details. Make contact with them first via email if you are still unsure- just to establish credibility.
Avenues such as mystery shopping and paid surveys take a while to build up income, however can pay within a couple of weeks- Just don't expect a huge paycheck from these guys. Be very wary, of those offering you to make huge incomes from home by completing surveys- if it really were that simple, wouldn't we all be doing it??
I personally entered into the world of network marketing when I was on maternity leave. Fortunately for me, I didn't need a huge income straight away. For a few years of hard work and building my business from home, I will be able to set my family up for life.
Party Planners need to be outgoing people and have the time to go and do these parties. Some may be close to you, others you may have to travel for. A new concept is E-Parties where you don't even go anywhere to host a party. However, the response rate is a lot lower that those traditional parties. You may need family or friends to watch your child(ren) when you travel to these parties. Ensure you look into the different commission structure that each company offers and choose a product you are interested in. Whether it's direct sales, or party plan, you must believe in the product you are selling- otherwise you are wasting your time.
Working from home isn't for everyone- you need the dedication to separate your family time from work time. Once you've harnessed this skill, you have the opportunity to earn quite a high income working from home.
Can I afford to be a stay at home Mom - by Mary Green
Many women at some point ask "Can I afford to be a stay at home mom?", but many do not think it is actually possible. Well, lucky you, because it is.
When I was 20 weeks pregnant I started having contractions and was taken out of work, after about a month and a half of my doctor screwing around I started getting disability, but it really wasn't enough, not with a baby on the way. So I started searching online, in the newspapers, anywhere I could for work at home opportunities, and that got the ball rolling. I knew that there were scams out there, but I wasn't sure which of the so called opportunities were scams and which weren't. I will tell you right now, the ones where you are asked to pay, pretty much all of them, are scams. I kept searching though through the end of my pregnancy, and maternity leave, until my then fiance and I decided that income wise it might be better to stay at home.
Yeah, thats right, income wise! Why though? With the cost of day care, an extra vehicle and extra insurance for the extra vehicle, plus gas, lunch at work, and the cost of missing out on so much of your baby's first years, it wasn't worth it. We were only going to bring home a couple hundred more a month than if I didn't work at all, this was after all the bills. So, we got rid of the car, didn't get daycare, cut down all our bills, and I started to search more for work at home to make a few extra dollars to help out. Finally I found a website called Work At Home Agent. This allowed me to take ordering phone calls at home for different companies and make some money doing it. They never asked for a fee and I kept searching for more things to do to make money online.
I found survey sites, that after you paid you just got a list of other survey sites, and I took the best of them and made a little bit, the best one was Pinecone Research, but you have to find a specific link to their sign up page, and it is difficult. I put all those that were good sites on a list on a page online, to help other moms like me out, who should not have to pay for a list of sites. How do those people sleep at night? Taking advantage of us moms who just want to be able to stay home and take care of our babies... I have no idea. The best site I found during that time period was WAHM.com is in an online magazine for work at home moms, dads are invited too.
Since my work at home search has begun, I have learned a few things. First, no amount of money could replace the memories that I have with my babies, not memories that a daycare worker might have. Second, more often than not, stay at home moms are making a sacrifice to do so, so many think that if you stay at home you are so lucky to be able to afford it. It just isn't that simple, we cut down our bills, use coupons, shop the sales, make the most of what we have and become very resourceful, because our families depend on it. And third, it is possible, you can afford to be a stay at home mom. It may not always be easy but you can do it, there is help, support, and other resourceful moms out there to help you.
How to continue breastfeeding after returning back to work - by Julie Zarchi
Let’s face it - returning back to work after maternity leave is never fun! This can be especially true if you want to continue breastfeeding and are considering pumping while on the job! Most moms worry about keeping up their milk supply and wonder how to pump quickly and discreetly while still getting their job done.
Luckily, there are some great products to help you, which when paired with these valuable tips compiled by actual pumping moms, will help make your pumping plan a reality…
A double electric pump is a must. The double pump helps cut pumping time in half and also stimulates milk production.
Invest in a good hands free pumping bra (Easy Expression makes two great ones).
If you have your own office - schedule your time and save data entry, typing, reading and returning emails. These tasks can all be completed while pumping if you’re using a hands free bra.
Leave your pump engine at the office if you do not use it at home. Saves you from taking it back and forth (it’s heavy).
Make use of the small cold bag that comes with many pumps – purchase some additional freezer packs and use this to store the pumped milk discreetly under your desk!
Who wants to display their pump parts while running down the corridor to the bathroom to rinse them out! Use a small cloth bag to store them (and also keep them dry). The Diapees and Wipees Diaper Wallets are perfect and just the right size.
Try herbal tea products that help increase milk supply (Earth Mama Angel Baby More Milk Tea).
Plan your schedule – try to schedule time to pump at the same time day although you may be busy. This helps regulate your milk production and will help you to get into a routine.
Try using Mothers Milk Breast Milk Storage Bags. You can pump directly into the bags eliminating the use of bottles while pumping.
Keep a large bottle of water on your desk – this will act as a reminder to keep drinking! A higher fluid intake is needed while breast feeding.
Try using the Medela microwave sterilizer bags. These bags will let you quickly sterilize your pump attachments using the office microwave.
Pack your pump bag the night before. All you’ll need to do in the morning is add some freezer packs and you’re ready to go.
Most employers are happy to accommodate breastfeeding moms. Ask your Human Resources Department if they have a designated pumping area or any other resources available for you.
Although pumping at work can be challenging at first, it is possible to succeed – and you may even be surprised as to just how easy it can be!
Have you ever thought of becoming a Work-at-Home-Mum (WAHM)? - by Julie Begbie
The career climate for women is changing - many mums are successfully fitting work around their home and family life. Today, there are almost one million women-owned businesses in the UK, making up over a quarter of all firms, and the numbers are growing. According to the Office for National Statistics, around half a million women work from home. One particular growth area is online business, which enables many mums who want to pursue a career, or continue to make money, the opportunity to work from home.
I have just returned to my "proper" job as a Training Consultant after taking 10 months maternity leave to look after wee Finn (10 months) and Jared (2). I did return to work between my pregnancies, however, I hoped it would be for a short time as I was keen to have a small age gap between my two children. Happily for me, and to the dismay of my manager, pregnancy two happened when I had been back at work for a month. I managed to work July 2003 to June 2004, so I was an asset to the company for nearly a year between the boys, and actually quite enjoyed it, however I always knew I was finishing for another extended "holiday" and that kept me chirpy. I have really enjoyed spending the past 10 months at home with my boys and my return to work this time was not so buoyant. For the few months in the run up to my return, I have been trying to hatch the perfect plan to work less hours and make money by doing something I really enjoy. I know I won't be able to replace my "proper job" salary overnight, but my aim is to start small and aim to make enough money to leave my job by the time Jared goes to school (which gives me a three year window). I have this idealistic vision of me walking the boys up to school, going home and working on my business and then being able to go back and pick them up after school and take them to a wide range after school activities.
So in pursuit of this dream, I have been researching ways to become a WAHM. My starting point was my obsession with selling stuff on eBay. Just old tat which had been lying around the house, but I was constantly amazed by the amount of money that I could generate from selling things that would have previously ended up in the bin. The only problem with using eBay as a sole income provider is that I am running out of things I don't need. A brief foray into buying goods to sell on for a profit ended rather disastrously with 7 massive boxes of greetings cards from Costco still sitting in the corner of my bedroom. So my plan evolved into creating something that people would want to buy.
Step one was coming up with an idea. I have always enjoyed 'crafty' things and I knew I wanted to make something. Finn had recently been christened and a few friends had mentioned to me that they had struggled to find an unusual gift, so I started to make a list of personalised Christening/naming presents. A friend told me about a fantastic Christening gift that she had received for her son's Christening. It was a homemade gift that comprised of a wooden chopping board, cut in half, with a stick nailed to it and an engraved plaque glued to the board. The detail on the plaque was her son's name and the date of his christening. The wooden stake was designed to be placed in front of a newly planted tree to make the occasion. I loved the sentiment of the gift and tried to find something similar on the internet. Surprisingly, I could not find anything remotely like it so, with my friend's approval, the business opportunity was born. Setting up the business was step two. I have another friend, Laura who has had a successful WAHM business for several years. She was a major inspiration as she has a really successful business selling baby slings on the internet. She manages to balance running her business and caring for her children (who are just slightly older than Jared and Finn) and is living proof that it is possible to be a 'supermum'. Laura has been my mentor and I have really benefited from her advice and experience as I have gone through the process of setting up my company.
So over the past few months I have learned all about weatherproof metals, laser cutting, engraving, gift packaging, tax, data protection, website design and advertising. It has been a very busy period and laterally has coincided with my return to work, but it is amazing how I can always find a little bit if energy to do things for my own business and I am pretty much ready to launch. I have been pretty obsessed with making this work and have discussed it relentlessly with friends and family. It is through discussions with friends that the purpose of the gift has expanded from solely baby related, to wider celebrations and memorials. It is equally suitable for celebrating a birth, wedding, significant birthday or the one that was a surprise to me, a few people have requested a plaque to mark the grave of a dead pet. The enthusiasm I have encountered for this product has kept me motivated to make these plaques more widely available. I hope people like them, I really hope I can realise my dream of picking my two wee boys up from school. It would also be nice if I made a million, but nothing is more important that having enough time to appreciate the wonder of your children growing up and I just hope I can be around more to enjoy it. I really feel like I am following a dream. My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner. I have wanted to work flexibly since I got pregnant with Jared. It has taken more than two years for make it happen. The ability to dream is one of the qualities possessed only by humans. So dream, and put a deadline on it, make it a giant dream, a tiny one, an old one, a new one, a hobby related one, a change of life one, a stupid one, a stroke-of-genius one, or just whatever...... just continue to dream on........ Then, Just Go and Do It!