Returning to work after maternity – 4 Essential Tips for Moms
Things to consider when returning to work after maternity leave
Maybe you recently experienced one of life’s greatest changing moments by giving birth, adopting a baby or perhaps it has been a while since your baby came (congrats!). Regardless, you may be starting to think about returning to work after maternity or a prolonged leave.
There may be several reasons for this, aside from monetary need: you may miss the interaction with work colleagues or the thrill of working itself along with the routine.
When you gave up work, your entire routine changed dramatically: from choosing what to wear, to the rigidity of your schedule and the pay packet at the end of the month.
So many changes! In addition, you moved to sleepless nights, being extremely tired and coming to terms with breastfeeding. Life changed to something you never experienced before, and even the mere prospect of going back to work can be just as challenging to get to get a grip on.
Deciding on Work
If you choose to head back to work after maternity leave, know that you will face much more pressure than when you first started the path of your career.
This time around, you should know what you are doing, but in the back of your mind, self-doubt will ask you “Can I still do it?”
This is natural, and YES, you can still do it. However, there will be a significant amount of doubt about everything, and you will even have minor doubts about if you’ve made the right decision.
Never Stop Being a Mother
One of the hardest parts return to work mothers face is, they never stop being a mother. It will feel like you have two jobs, and that tiredness you felt can increase while you attempt to juggle two lives.
The daily routine will be extended, and there is no way getting around it, and at times you will feel you are being driven crazy. To top all this off, you will feel guilty about leaving your child in the care of another person.
With all this in mind, here are 4 essential tips which can help you come to terms with this significant change in your and your family’s life when you return to work after maternity.
Tip One – Are You Prepared to Go Back to Work?
At this point, you should either make a list of all the reasons why you want or need to go back to work. These pros and cons can be the basis of everything that follows.
If you haven’t, you should list everything of how your daily routine is going to change and how you will be able to handle your work/life balance.
You will also have a lot of pressure from family about you doing the right thing, or not doing the right thing.
You should have it clear in your mind, you are doing the right thing for your family as well as for yourself. With the help of your spouse or partner, you should see the decision you make is the right one.
Tip Two – Choosing a Career that Doesn’t Feel Like Work
There is nothing written in stone you need to go back into your old career. However, this is what many mothers tend to do.
If you go for the other option and decide to change career, one of the best things you can do is learn how to write a resume.
This will be your first real introduction to a new company, and while writing this, never be afraid of leaving a time gap when you were on maternity leave. Potential employers will see past this because it is such a large part of life.
The worst thing you could do is try and lie by filling in the gaps with other information. You’re a mother, so you should be proud of the fact.
Tip Three – Choosing the Best Caregiver
This is the area where guilt will set in. When you set off and leave your child with someone else, you are going to hurt.
One of the best ways to become accustomed to this if you need to drop them off in the morning, is to run through the routing before your day starts.
You can take your child on the route and then proceed to work with your child, so you both become accustomed to the new routine. This also helps you acclimatize with the new workplace.
One other thing to do, once you do have a good caregiver, is to make some calls throughout the day if your child is old enough to talk on the phone. If not, you can just make some calls to check how your child is doing.
This works both ways because it can lift your spirits to help you through the afternoon.
Tip Four – Conserving Energy and Getting Support
Being a mom and an employee can take it out of anyone, so this is the area where you need complete support.
Your spouse or partner should be in a position to help out around the home. You might cook the dinner for you all, but it doesn’t mean you need to do the dishes.
Conserving your energy can come from many areas, and even preparing things the night before can make things much more comfortable in the morning.
Preparing your child’s bag or half preparing breakfast can save what seems like minutes, but if you are rushing, these minutes will be a godsend.
There are also times you feel like going to bed early, so if you do, then do it. Your body will be telling you something, and the body is rarely wrong.
Same goes for a weekend when you need a break, so you should reach out to family members where they can take care of their grandchild for a few hours.
All these tips are double-edged because that is precisely what being a mother is like. There are so many more bits of advice, but sometimes too much becomes baffling and doesn’t fit in with your family’s lifestyle.
When you have others around you who are supportive (this goes for your bosses as well as spouse and family), things will still be a struggle to start, but they will get easier.
This is a guest post written by Emma Anderson
Emma is the head resume writer at Job Frog Resumes – www.jobfrog.com.au . She balances taking care of her energetic 2 year old girl, her hungry husband, work career and social life – just managing to fit sleep in there somewhere. Reach out to her if you need help building your CV!
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