Getting back to Education

There are many different options to return to education as a younger mum. You might like to start by chatting to someone about these options. The Skills and Jobs Centre Geelong which is associated with The Gordon Tafe might be a great place to start…

Skills and Jobs Centre – you can book in for an appointment where they can help chat with you about the following.

  • Career/training/employment information and career pathways
  • Resume & Cover letter assistance
  • Training advice, (including The Gordon TAFE courses and the FREE TAFE Initiative).
  • Workshops & Employer Panels (Each month they have a flyer available with different events on)
  • Help you identify areas you can network with to assist in employment opportunities
  • Give you further information about Community resources and where to search for Job information
  • Referrals for Government funded courses in specific areas (there may be some projects that may have employment opportunities).

There’s also more traditional schooling options such as…

Northern Bay College – Young parents can return to education at Northern Bay to complete their studies with individualised support. Childcare is available at the Northern Bay Early Learning centre which is on campus. For more information Contact Helen O’Connor 5224 9791.

The Family centre also offers a range of programs including Bumps to bubs. The Bumps to Bubs Group Program brings young mothers and mothers-to-be (up to 23 years) with babies 0-1 year together to support the journey of parenting.

Online Course – You could also do a course, online or in person depending on your interests! It really depends on you and your dreams. What is going to work for you and your family with child care etc.

Getting back to work

After having a baby you may have a lot of mixed feelings about going back to work. You may be feeling guilty about leaving your bub, anxious about who will care for them, or worried about the costs of childcare, but there’s also lots of positive feelings you may think about.

Working is a great way for you to meet people and mix with other adults, a way to challenge yourself, to make your own money and to be a wonderful role model for your child. If you decide to return to work there’s lot of questions you may have about it all, so let’s help put your mind at ease:

What about Child Care?

Child care can be a huge decision, wondering how you can afford it, where’s a great safe place for your child to go, what options you may have. Types of child care can include;

  1. Friends & Family – if you know someone that you can completely trust and you feel comfortable with, such as a close friend or family member, then this situation is awesome. It can cost a lot less and you may be able to care for their kids, so it works both ways and is easier for you both. The times of care may also be flexible and makes it easier for you to work part time if you want.
  2. Child Care Centre – (also known as long day care,) is centre based care provided by professional child care staff. Children can be cared for from birth to 6 years old. Care can be provided Monday to Friday around 8 hours a day, or you can just book the days you need. Some child care centres have waiting lists so it’s a great idea if you’re planning on using this service to ring a few months before to visit, see if you like it and go on their waiting list. Child care centres have strict regulations for safety and care and you can receive Government assistance to send your child there.
  3. Family Day Care – is care provided in the educator’s home and can provide care from birth to 12 years old. Family day care homes usually have a mix of ages together, whereas child care centres tend to have separate rooms for each age group eg 0-2 years, 2-3 years, 3-5 years. Like child care centres, Family Day Care is regulated and Government assistance is available.
  4. Nanny Service – some people like the idea of someone coming to your home, because your bub can sleep in their own bed and be in their own surroundings. But other people say it’s great for your child to be cared for away from their home where they can get used to other people or routines,. BUT it’s completely your decision, there’s no right or wrong decision. A nanny service can be quite costly as they charge an hourly rate and there is no government assistance available for you to use this type of service.
  5. In Home Care Program – is approved care in your home and is available for families who are unable to access other mainstream child care options such as those listed above, or who work non standard hours or have children with complex needs. It is run through In Home Care Support Agencies.

Government Assistance – is called Child Care Subsidy and is a payment to help you pay for child care. Child care subsidy is only available for approved child care services like regulated child care centres, family day care or in home care programs. To get child care subsidy you need to meet certain criteria, please click the link below for more information.

Where can I find a job?

There’s many places where you can search for jobs, a great place to start is by asking your friends if they know of any jobs going, it’s amazing who knows who and may be able to help. There’s also great free services that can help you;

1. Job Assistance Services:

The Gordon Skills and Jobs Centre Geelong – as mentioned in the education section. They have a huge amount of services to help you with job information, job application advice, resume tips and interview skills. Phone 5225 0700

Job Active through Centrelink – job active is a great service to connect employers to new staff. For further info check out their website www.jobactive.gov.au They also have helpful tips on writing a resume and ways to prepare you for getting a job.

Jobs Victoria – phone 1300 208 575

There’s also ways to look online through:

Facebook – Local Facebook pages have lots of jobs advertised including;

Geelong Job Classifieds

Geelong Job Watch

Geelong Careers

Geelong Employment Opportunities

Geelong Employment

Jobs in Geelong

Or through Job Websites:

Seekwww.seek.com.au

Indeed – www.indeed.com

Job Search – www.jobsearch.gov.au

Careers One – www.careerone.com.au

If you’re even more tech savvy, there’s apps, Instagram and LinkedIn are where some employers post jobs.

Where can I find a job?

When becoming a working mum there’s a number of changes that will happen, this can be super exciting, but may also make you feel a bit stressed at times, so the more you can be prepared for it, the better it can be.

  • Before applying for a job think about how many hours will suit you and what days will work. Does your child have other commitments to consider? eg swimming lessons, other activities.
  • Routine – Write a list of things you will need to arrange – whether it’s child care, what you may need to wear, transport and how you will get to child care/your workplace. If you need to take public transport, then check on the timetable and the job location you’re looking at.
  • Think about the type of job you may like, what you like to do. Sometimes we think we don’t have many skills, but just being a mum has a huge amount of skills such as negotiation, responsibility, planning your time well, multitasking skills such as cooking tea and occupying your child at the same time.
  • If you’re breastfeeding, think about what you may like to do. Will you work around feeds – feed before work and when you return. Will you do half bottle, half breast? Will you express into a bottle? Or can you work near where your child has care to continue feeding throughout the day?
  • Have a plan for some unexpected events, such as if your child is sick and your may need time off.
  • Have realistic expectations – being a working mum means your routines change, so remember that you will have less time to do household chores and everyday tasks. When we have less time it’s really important to look after yourself, eat well, sleep well, keep active. It’s also so important to know that our kids don’t remember how clean the house was, or how well the bed was made, they remember the times we play with them, the laughter and love, so cleaning can wait some days.

We know it can be scary returning to work, but it can be an amazing experience in so many ways for you and your child. We hope this information helps, but you’re welcome to contact us through our “Contact Page” or via email if you have any questions, we would love to help!

Anxiety, what is it?

Anxiety is described as an intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations, so many of us can experience it. There’s so many coping strategies we can use to reduce anxiety, but not all can help you.

The coping strategies that a lot of people turn to when feeling anxious can actually be doing more harm than good. They include:

1. Running away from it

Avoiding situations that cause anxiety only makes the fear of feeling that way intensify.

Instead: learn to overcome situations, despite the anxious feelings. Conquering such situations lays down a solid idea that it is possible to do what you’re supposed to even if you experience all the sensations of anxiety.  You’ll actually feel much braver, because you know that something you did before worked.

2. Denying it.

Just because you say you don’t feel it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Over time, it will come out and you may just end up scaring the people around you. Denying it will prevent you from getting the help you need.

Instead: Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Notice where in your body you are feeling the most anxiety. Pay attention to what is happening to you physically. Once you become aware of your anxiety, try telling yourself: “It’s okay. I’m just feeling anxious right now;” or “I’m having an anxious day today;” or “It’s okay for me to be anxious.” You actually make some ‘psychological’ space for your anxious feelings to change.  Try to notice where in your body you’re feeling anxious. It might be ‘butterflies’ in your stomach, tightness in your chest, or a feeling of restlessness. The most common reaction is to try to stop feeling this way. However, the more you try to ignore or pretend that you aren’t feeling anxious, the more the anxiety persists.

3. Acknowledging it and feeling sorry for it.

Anxiety is not really something to apologise for; it’s the problem of other people if they do not understand. 

Instead: Don’t apologise for it, because that’s just going to make you feel worse. Anxiety is something that’s hard to control; that’s why a lot of people turn to professional help.

4. Thinking about it too much.

Thinking of all the potential reasons why you’re feeling the way you do and connecting every situation to these reasons will just make you suffer more and increase your worry and anxiety.

Instead: When you find yourself indulging in exaggerated thoughts, take a step back and chill, and then very casually put your thoughts on trial to challenge their accuracy and evidence that shows it’s true. If you can’t come up with any accurate answer, it only means one thing: You have to stop because only the future can reveal the answers, not you.

5. Predicting how anxiety will occur in the future.

Some people say they do this to be prepared, but basically all they do is scare themselves even more. As such, they avoid all sorts of situations. Doing this can make your world so much smaller—you’re allowing anxiety to rule your life.

Instead: Make friends with your anxiety. Don’t fight it. When you don’t fight against your anxiety, it actually becomes more manageable. Notice what you’re telling yourself: “Oh no! Not this again. What’s wrong with me? Why doesn’t it just go away? If I don’t do something about it quickly, it is just going to get worse…” It is amazing how many negative messages your brain sends you in the space of a minute. 

You are a GREAT Mum!

Ahh, the smell of a newborn baby is divine, warms your heart and puts an immediate smile on your face.

Being a mum is a wonderful privilege.  There are so many women who struggle to conceive and are unable to experience the joy of pregnancy and giving birth.  Enjoy the privilege, the experiences and love your child brings into your heart.

You always hear people say ‘there is no rule book’, which is so true.  Every child has their own individual personality and so do you.  As a mum you lead by example, holistically and physically. For you to be the best example for your child, you must ensure that everything you do is true to you. It can be easy to fall into a place where you are feeling judged for your decisions, but you can’t be led by other people’s expectations. Be led by your heart and your beliefs, and don’t do things to keep up with what is considered ‘normal’ or ‘the right thing to do’ in order to be a great mum.

Creating wonderful memories such as when your child does something witty, cheeky or when you and your beautiful child have a moment.  You will definitely know when this happens and will reflect on those moments many times through your life.

Learn to rest when your child rests and don’t put expectations on yourself in regard to house upkeep.  Spending quality time with your child beats spending quality time housekeeping.  Also finding time for yourself, either reading, going out and having a laugh with a friend, gardening.  Exercise is the best form of having time for yourself.

There are always times when you are not in a great mood or something has shifted in your life and you need to adjust.  Always remember the unconditional love you have for your child is the same unconditional love your child has for you.  You are the leader, protector, and teacher for your child.

These affirmations are mantras to stand by.  When you are feeling overwhelmed write an affirmation on a post it note, stick it by your bed and before you go to sleep quiet your mind and read the affirmation a few times and believe it.

Quotes to live by: