Returning to work
Rolling, sitting unassisted, starting solids…there’s tons of information and discussion surrounding all of your baby’s milestones. But what about the milestones of Mom’s?
There are plenty of milestones reached in the first year or two (and beyond) of parenthood. One of the biggest, perhaps, is returning to work after parental leave. This blog will give you some tips for preparing to return to work, and how employers can help moms feel supported.
Finding your “work identity” again
Becoming a mother is life altering. It’s normal to feel like you’ve lost yourself a little bit along the way. Whether your leave from work was 12 weeks or 12 months, you’ve likely spent most of that time thinking about diaper changes and sleep regressions, and none of it thinking about work.
So how do you suddenly shift from mom to working mom? Of course it’s different for everyone in every role, but if you’re feeling a little lost, here are some ways to shift your focus slightly:
Try reaching out to coworkers a few weeks before you’re due to start back. This will help you reconnect and get a feel for how things at your workplace have changed.
Be honest with your boss. Let them know what you need to make the transition a positive one. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking with your boss, connect with your HR representative. It’s important that you’re feeling heard and supported at work. It can also be helpful to find support from other working parents via social media groups, forums, etc.
Test out your new routine. Do a few days of daycare (or whatever care you’re using for your child while at work) before you go back. Not only is this helpful for your baby, but test driving your new routine will help you get the kinks out. And having a few baby-free hours will help you get comfortable just being with yourself again.
Understand what the new you has to offer. Becoming a mother changes you. You have new priorities, new goals, new everything! But that doesn’t mean you're any less valuable at work. In fact, studies show that mothers often have some of the most beneficial characteristics for any workplace:
What about employers?
Moms and their families can do plenty to make the transition back to work easier and as positive as possible. There are a few things employers can do as well though, to help moms feel better about this new chapter.
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Both Lindsey and Ashley contribute to the blog! Sometimes also with guests and sometimes from conversations with guests :)