Dealing with resentful colleagues in the workplace
When you return to work after having a baby it can be disconcerting to realise that some of your colleagues have a bit of a chip about the alleged perks parents in the workplace receive
Your own sternest critic in this respect may be you. Especially if you were the person who always worked late, who was always in before everyone else, who took work home at night and who was never ill.
Now your working life is affected by things outside your control: childcare failures, child illness, the fact that every hour you work may be an hour for which you have to fork out money.
You can still do a good job, and if you have to be more efficient because there is a nanny knocking off at 7pm or a nursery fining you for lateness, the chances are you will be.
But you may also be in an environment where not working long hours is perceived as slacking. In a decent workplace, if you show you're not slacking, you should be able to win round difficult colleagues, but this is by no means universally true.
If the culture is really unfriendly to families, you may have to accept you are in the wrong place:
"I was passed over for promotion because I left early/started a bit later than everyone else. In the end I thought sod it, and now I work two days a week and have gone back to uni. Now I don't care what anyone thinks when I am not in or doing hours that suit me. If they don't appreciate or want the extra work you're doing - don't do it!"
If your workplace is family-friendly, however, then give it a well-deserved pat on the back via the Mumsnet Family-Friendly Programme.
And, if all else fails, a gentle insight into your reality might be in order - if nothing else, it will give you a moment's inner satisfaction in your working day:
"If anyone passes comment, the thing to say is, 'You know what you get for part-time work? Part-time pay.'"