Monday, 14 November 2016

7 secrets for successfully returning to work after maternity leave

7 secrets for successfully returning to work after maternity leave

Searching for answers to smoothly transitioning back to work after maternity leave? Currently considering whether to go back to work after baby?
Read below for tips for navigating back to work after baby.

When I finally told my boss I was pregnant, I confirmed my return to work date at the same time. For me, there wasn’t much that I needed to think about as I had started to carve quite a beautiful career for myself. Due to the pressure I put on myself, there was no other choice, but not every woman is the same when they find out baby is on board.
Some women find it difficult to make a decision as to whether to return to work, due to wanting to follow their dream career like me, financial reasons and on occasion what friends, family and society may think. The decision for some can be heartbreaking!

Ultimately it’s down to the parent to make the decision whether to return to work or not after parental leave, but for those who have made the decision to work.
Here are the 7 secrets to returning to work ‘easily’ after maternity leave.

  1. Set the date for return once you and your child have bonded
As I said, I chose my return date when I announced my pregnancy to my boss. Luckily for me my maternity leave ended when I had said. There is no perfect time to return to work, some research indicates that there are benefits to staying with your baby for a full year, others say after 3 months but thankfully it’s all down to parents to decide when they feel they have bonded, and are comfortable to leave their child.

“...I used up all my KIT days, all 10 of them prior to returning to work”

  1. Choose whether to commit or compromise
Now that you have made the decision to return to work and not put your career on hold...and maybe you have used up your keeping in touch days as well, how do you feel? I used up all my KIT days, all 10 of them prior to returning to work and I made a decision to commit fully to climbing the career ladder down my chosen path. Some women decide that they don’t want to navigate their previous path and choose to compromise their role, deciding upon something that complements their parenting style.

  1. Work flexibly
Luckily more and more employers are providing flexible working options, not just to their employees who are parents but to everyone. My commercial career doesn’t really have defined 9-5 working hours, and I am completely fine with that, so far as I follow my own tips for balancing work and motherhood! Some of my favourite instagram mamas run their own businesses from home, some job-share; there is flexitime and telecommuting; giving up on working for someone and going freelance, working part-time, compressed work weeks or as I have been lucky to do on a couple of occasions bring your child into work, see the Twitter post here. If you choose to commit as above and not compromise on your role, then working flexibly may allow you to pursue your career goals and strike that balance with motherhood.

  1. Build your support network
Sometimes you have to return to work as you cannot afford to lose that income, so having a strong support network is really important. I heavily rely on my husband Mr. L and my mother to help me with my son, around the home, supporting my career and getting that alone time. You may also find support in a nanny, child minder, nursery, someone or somewhere that you feel comfortable leaving your child whilst you are at work. I am extremely fortunate that I have my mother, whom whilst I am working, I can wholeheartedly trust for her to deliver the type of care to my son that I would...to my standards, because I am a bit of a control freak!

7 secrets for successfully returning to work after maternity leave
Uniqlo Boucle knit long sleeve dress // Christian Louboutin ankle boots
  1. Find ways to relieve stress and stay energised
The biggest non secret that I am going to let you in on, going full steam ahead at work and at home can be incredibly stressful. There isn’t such a thing as a stress-free baby and job! Either way you need to learn to manage your stresses and on occasion use the stress to work for you. Use stress to become more efficient at work and at home, then use your support network to help you get that ‘alone time’. I try and schedule as much as possible, which helps relieve stress. Work and sleep can actually energise me so by the time I am home, I can tackle bedtime with my son. Find the best way to manage stress and stay energised that works for you.

  1. FOMO is unnecessary
Be prepared to miss out. You may miss major milestones such as crawling and first steps, but if you have a strong support network they can record these for you. Preparing myself in advance meant that I could feel joy in the fact that my son was developing as opposed to feeling like I was missing out...especially since he wasn’t going to remember (nor hold it against me) that I missed when he first began to crawl, or stand. Remember the bond that you have with your child cannot be taken away from either of you, and that’s the most important thing.

  1. Prioritise!
When you return to work, you know what your priorities are. I made the decision that it was best for me to return to work to pursue my career goals, as I would be a better mother to my son and commit fully to my career when at work, commit fully to being a mother even though I am not with him the entire day, and juggle the rest as much as possible, which may mean inconsistent blogging or my YouTube channel grinding to a halt. List your priorities in order and try and focus on balancing them as best as possible.

“FOMO is unnecessary:
Be prepared to miss out!”

How long were you on maternity leave for? How flexible is your job, are they family-friendly? What tips do you have for returning to work successfully after maternity leave?

Thank you for reading and please do follow me on Bloglovin’ to keep up with #MotherhoodMonday every Monday.

Thank you!
SAL xx




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2 comments

  1. Hey hi... Just stumble upon your blog... Beautiful pictures... I am currently on maternity leave and will be placing baby in daycare... I always have trouble prioritising and lose track of the things to be done... It's definitely not easy being a working mum but i think all of us are trying to find that balance. Cheers from another mommy. Looking forward to reading more of your blogpost

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    1. Hi Esma, thank you so much and thank you for reading. Congratulations on your arrival! Finding the balance between motherhood and working is a job within itself, but at the end of the day I am sure we will make it through. Speak with you soon x

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