Tips When Returning To Work After Maternity Leave

Posted: Monday November 15 2021

By: Abbie Coleman

What's ahead can seem daunting and sometimes unachievable, but you can find the right balance when ensuring you're working towards what works for you and not what works for others.

Tips When Returning To Work After Maternity Leave

When your returning to work after maternity leave what’s ahead can seem daunting and sometimes unachievable, but you can find the right balance when ensuring you’re working towards what works for you and not what works for others.

What Do You Want In Your Return After Maternity Leave?

This seems like a simple question, but it’s the key to your happiness and family. Before heading back to work, know what you want and need before speaking about your return with your manager or HR. Have a starting point and understand what you can compromise on and what is essential for you. Once you know if you want more time at home, more time at work, flexibility on hours or location, picking up the pace with your career, change your career, you have something to work too to get you where you need to be. Looking at financials and personal needs are critical. So be flexible and compromise to find a solution, just don’t compromise on the crucial things for you.

Reevaluate And Speak With Your Partner

Take time to re-assess what’s important to you as an individual, career professional, mum, wife. And make sure you’re working towards them, not away. Having an open conversation with your partner, if you have one, is critical, knowing what you both expect and where you can both help and support. See how your partner feels as their priorities may have changed after your child, and remember the responsibility for a child is equal, and there is no wrong or right on what works for you as a family. Once you are both on the same page, you can speak with family so everyone can offer you the support you need.

Get Your Childcare Sorted For Your Return

This is key as you need to feel happy and comfortable that you have childcare that works for you and works well. Be it family, nannies, nursery or childminders, you have to have something that works for you and your work needs. The options you had when you had one child can soon change when you have two or more due to costs, so revisit the solutions. You may be lucky enough to have family who can help you with childcare, although that can come with issues and setting boundaries for everyone is critical. The sooner you have childcare in place the happier you will feel, as this can take enormous stresses away. But don’t underestimate the financial impact, so make sure you know what you need from your childcare, and this will also help you understand what you need to ask from work in terms of flexibility etc.

Build Your Network After Your Maternity Return

The likelihood is you have been out of the sector for a good few months, and things can move quickly, your confidence may have taken a hit, or you may feel like you need to overcompensate. Finding and re-establishing your network is critical. Find your people and build those relationships. This is key not just for advancing your career but for the great feedback on what’s going on, links to new people and support. The key is when you find or build your network, you will find a strong group of allies who can offer you the advice and feedback you may be looking for.

Cut yourself some slack

You may be facing several emotions that are all different for everyone and some you may not expect. You will be navigating your career and home life and no doubt being your most demanding critic with the opportunity for doubt to take control. How you thought you would feel could be utterly different to how you feel. Just listen to yourself and your needs and take it on board but make sure you don’t give it too much airtime. What you have been through is enormous emotionally and physically, and you need to cut yourself some slack; you are more than capable and will find your groove. But take time out for yourself, make sure you are on the right path for yourself and don’t let self-doubt change that path. Motherhood is fantastic, but it can also be the most demanding job in the world.

Read more from our maternity returner page here

# Tips When returning To Work After Maternity Leave