5 Ways to Ease the Pain of Going Back to Work After Baby
Your time as a maternity-leave mom is ticking away. It’s time to go back to work and you’re uber-excited about getting to be a grown-up again. That said, the tears are already welling up when it comes to parting ways and you’re scrambling to build a realistic picture of work-life balance. The first day away is almost here and you’re worried that some serious separation anxiety is right around the corner — both hers and yours. Stop some of the “I’m going back to work and don’t know if I can be away from my little one without freaking out” stress with a few of these simple strategies.
1. Use technology. Your smartphone is already your BFF, so keep the tech-love going. Ask your daycare center’s staff, the nanny or whoever else is watching your child to help you out and send you a text, email or quick pic every so often. You’ll feel better about leaving your mini-me if you know what she’s doing during her day. But try to avoid the temptation of jumping onto a video chat (or even a regular old-school call); seeing you/hearing your voice may disrupt your child’s day or bring back her separation anxiety.
2. Pin it. Okay, so you aren’t exactly going to “pin” pictures of your child onto a major social media site. But, you can create your own virtual “pin board” right on your phone or tablet. Create cute photo collages of your child, and sneak a peek during your work day. Add pics of your baby’s first day home, her smiling face or her cuddling up with the family pet. Keep in mind, you don’t always have to use pictures that you’ve already taken. Set up a mommy-tot photo session at home before going back to work. Pick out cute costumes and have your spouse, a friend or grandma act as photographer.
3. Do a practice run. You have 10 days until your first day back. It’s no surprise that you want to spend every last second with your child. You’re taking her for strolls, visiting the park and snuggling up with her (or at least, your) favorite picture book. Yes, it’s perfectly understandable that you want to glue yourself to your tot in these last few work-free days. But, doing a pre-workday dry run can take some of the pressure off when the big day arrives. Take a morning to pre-create your soon-to-be on the job schedule. Have the nanny come over or take your child to a family member’s house for a few hours to simulate daycare.
4. Start slow. So, you’re taking a morning out to do the practice run-through. It’s all going swell for the first 30 minutes. And, then — well, then it hits you. You’re away from your child and you’re getting cold feet about this whole work thing. Don’t worry. No one expects you to stay emotion-free and conquer your back-to-work worries immediately. If you’re not ready to dive in right away, start with 15 minutes away from your little one. Add on to your “away time” each day until you eventually build up to half a day. When you’ve gotten that far, keep going until you get to your first full day of work.
5. Put it into perspective. That is, put it into your child’s perspective. Even if she’s only a few months old, your child knows when you’re not around. All of the starting slow, practice runs and photo fun are part of her pre-return to work ritual too. Brainstorm a few ideas that will ease your child’s worries or woes. This might include making her a photo collage (a real-world paper one that she can take with her), reading a special before-work-only book every day or penning your own mommy-and-me song!
How do you plan to keep in touch with your kiddo while you’re at work? Share your tip and tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com