There comes a point in a new parent’s time line when they may – or even must – consider returning to work. The end of paid maternity leave may leave a mother with no option but to go back to work, so consequently it becomes important to consider what the childcare arrangements will be on the parent’s return to work. This is a time of high emotion for any parent. There is almost certain to be a spell where the parent returning to work feels a lot of guilt and no small amount of self-recrimination. This is natural, and yet a little harsh on oneself.

We work so that our children can have what they need and what they want. Going back to work and making arrangements for the care of one’s child is something that has to be considered. It may even be the case that the child minder is someone who is a relative stranger. The matter of trust is of paramount importance – so if you have to return to work, leaving your baby with someone whom you would trust with your life, possibly someone with childcare qualifications and a registration, is the absolute minimum that should satisfy you.

There will not be a time when it gets easier to do this. Many parents find it hard to cope even when sending their children off to college so leaving their child in the care of even a well-trusted family member can be no less wrenching. But doing it for the right reasons should make it easier, eventually, to deal with. At such times it is important for you to have a good support system of people who are concerned for your needs.

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