The UK has a statutory paternity leave of only two weeks. During these weeks, you’ll only receive a small percentage of your salary, so going to return to work soon is usually an inevitability.

The last few weeks will have been a whirlwind of emotion and probably sleep deprivation, so it’s understandable if you’re dreading going back to work. Here’s some of the ways I coped with returning to routine.

Make the Most of Your Commute
I enjoy my morning commute, listening to some good music to get me ready for the day. I do some of my best thinking in the car as I plan my day ahead, problem solve and de-stress on the drive home, so I can leave my work-worries behind.

Storm Scooter

Photo Credit: Yohanes Sanjaya

If you take a train or bus, use your travel time to play a game, eat something nice or have an album on. It’s good quiet time for yourself and could be needed after a long restless night.

The flip side is that you may have a quiet office where you can be alone for a while away from friends and family and you’re itching to get away from home for a little while. That’s also OK if you feel that way.

Take It Slow
Try to take things slow at first. Your work colleagues will want to know what’s been happening and you can show some pictures or recount some stories briefly to appease them. I enjoy what I do, so I like to just keep my head down and work quietly and endure the day. I’ll happily engage in a conversation if I’m included, but I’m unlikely to join one if not invited.

You may find your energy levels dwindle in a busy atmosphere. But, it’s important to try to conserve some energy somewhere throughout the day, because as soon as you get home, your partner will want a break. My wife counts the minutes (and has been known to track me via GPS) as I drive home so she can go and spend some time alone, watch a TV show in peace or go out and see some friends.

Remember Your Partner
Remember, even if your partner is a huge extrovert, they need some time to themselves too. Being on demand for a few hours is very draining for them – especially if they’ve been alone in the house all day with the baby.

By using your commute, lunchtime or even bathroom breaks to get your innie-time, you can be ready to jump straight into parenting or spending time with your partner as soon as you arrive home. You can always try and top-up the tank later in the evening if necessary once baby is asleep.