When I got pregnant, I had discussed in depth with my partner how much maternity leave I should take. We decided that I would take my statutory 26 weeks and then an additional 13 weeks. I felt that after that much time at home, I was bound to be anxious to get back into normal working life again.
However, in the last months of my maternity leave, I became very worried about transitioning back into working life. Furthermore, I became very concerned about not being around my baby on a daily basis. I seriously started to feel that I would not be able to go back into working life.
My PA Job was in a busy company and it has quite a hard corporate culture. I felt that I could no longer fit into this environment, when the realities of my tough work life set in. When the day came for me to return, I had really started to dread it. However, now I am fully adjusted and here is some of my advice to anyone in the same position. Working Mums: Returning to Work After Maternity continued below
How to transition in working life after having a baby
Seek Flexible working hours.
Most employers are now quite understanding, even mine which surprised me. Ask for more flexible hours, to enable you to collect the children from childcare. This made the world of difference. I also got remote access, so that I could work from home, when my baby was ill.
|Author stockimages and image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net|
Don’t book up your life.
Before children, you may have arranged to meet up with friends and do other activities in your spare time. This is still possible, but in the first few months of your transition back to work, try to keep your spare time more free. Many mothers returning to work try to overload themselves. It also ensures that you can spend as much time with your baby as possible.
Make your start date midweek.
A long week on your return could be a real shock, so come back with a short week. That way you can slowly adjust. The last thing you need is a Monday morning feeling making the first day back more stressful.
Author stockimages and image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
Keep your mobile on.
Keep your mobile phone on vibrate, so that you know that the day care centre can contact you. This will give you piece of mind that all is ok with the baby. Stepping away from your baby for the first time can be very worrying.
Communicate with managers and stand up for yourself and your family time
Now that you may be on flexi hours, it may still be the case that you end up with too much workload. When you start back have an open conversation with your manager about the new stresses in your life. Stand up for yourself and push back. It will define the boundaries going forward. Naturally, carry this out diplomatic way and you should be reasonable about it.
This is all part of developing your career skills as a working mother. I had learned about these skills in soft skills training, but never really had to put it into practice until now. Executive PA Workshop