There are a large number of women who want to go back to work after maternity leave, and there is an even more significant number of women who need to go back into the workforce after maternity leave.
This can have differing effects on the mental approach, but both can leave the woman with a distinct lack of confidence.
Although being easier said than done, the secret to doing this successfully is by managing the transition from mother to employee.
As a return to work mother, you will have numerous questions and what ifs bouncing around your mind in this situation:
- Will childcare arrangements be good enough?
- Will the baby become upset?
- Will I be upset?
- Can I handle…
The list could go on.
The transition back to work is the hardest after a first child. For the past however months you have been using a very different skill set compared to a work environment.
How Long Will it Take to Become Relaxed in Work?
Studies show it can take a return to work mother between 6 and 11 months to feel comfortable in her work position again. Much of this isn’t only the job itself, it can be the difference in your home life now you are away for most of the day.
A lot of this boils down to the transition to becoming a mother, the transition of being at home and now the transition back to having a work mentality.
All of this coupled with hormone changes can make any mother unsure of what she is doing.
How to Prepare for Work
If you are going back to work for your old employer, it can make things a little easier, but if you are seeking new employment, you could make use of a professional resume writing service to make sure you present yourself in the best possible light.
If you follow this route, don’t be worried about adding the time you spent at home being a mother to your CV. No employer would hold this against a woman who is aiming to return to work.
In the lead up to you starting work, it is advisable to have a meet-up with your work colleagues. This can help you catch up on office gossip and again be comfortable with colleagues in a work frame of mind.
It is also worth keeping in touch with your direct manager before you head back to work. This is also recommended while you are on maternity leave in the event you do decide to go back to work.
One other way of maintaining contact is popping back into the workplace. This doesn’t always need to be with your baby.
This can give you the opportunity to have lunch with old colleagues or spend the extra time familiarising yourself with how the office has changed.
A Week Before Your Return
When you know the time you will be returning, you can pop into your workplace to finalise details of what your position will be. It could be the same as before, or it might be different depending on what tasks you undertook.
Many recommend the boss sends the return to work mother an email, although they might be a little busy to remember this.
It wouldn’t hurt to send them or the HR department an email briefly mentioning your return at the start of the following week.
Doing this and depending on the reply from either side shows the trust is still there between the employer and the employee. Any contact a mother can have with her old workplace will make the return that much easier.
Hitting the ground running will make things less stressful when trying to get your head around the operational side of things.
Many mothers might wish to change their work routine if possible. Some employers may frown upon this if it is mentioned in the negotiations before returning to work. Anything of this nature is best spoken about once you have returned to work and settled back into your work routine.
A lot of employers might expect mothers to fall back into giving 100% in their job as they used to. This, unfortunately, takes time on many accounts, and most of it is the adjustment going back to work full time.
With children being in a crèche at this time, many mothers have come to an arrangement of flexi-time which allows them to drop off and collect their child on a daily basis.
There are many ways mothers can ease back into work with confidence, and doing what is best for you and your child is the first step.