Tips For Going Back To Work After Maternity Leave

Tips For Going Back To Work After Maternity Leave – Compilation. Returning to work after your parental leave is difficult. You’ve been out of the office flow for months and your mind may be elsewhere. How can one ensure a perfect return? Start by thinking about your goals. Before your return, think about how you can best contribute to your organization. Think about what you need to do to fulfill your responsibilities and develop your career in a way that also allows you to be a good parent. When you return, sit down with your manager and express your excitement about your return. Admit that your adjustment may be messy, but you are fully committed to your job and your organization. Discuss the future. Talk about professional development. Mention projects you’d like to be considered, initiatives you’d like to pursue, and work travel you’re willing to do — or not do. Your goal is to reset your expectations for yourself.

Returning to work after parental leave is difficult. You’ve been out of the office flow for weeks or months, and you come back as a different person with new priorities and concerns. (Not to mention the stress and strain of endless new logistics.) It’s crazy and often overwhelming. So how can you make your first few weeks at the office as enjoyable as possible? If you have a choice, is it better to back off slowly or dive right in? How should you manage your relationships with your boss and colleagues? Perhaps most importantly, where can you turn to get the emotional support and encouragement you need during this time?

Tips For Going Back To Work After Maternity Leave

Tips For Going Back To Work After Maternity Leave

What the Experts Say Returning to work after having a new baby is “a transition like no other,” says Daisy Wademan Dowling, founder and CEO of Workparent, a consulting firm for working parents and employers. “Everything changes—from your daily practical schedule, to your new responsibilities as a parent, to your identity in terms of how you’ve seen yourself throughout your adult life,” she says. Adding to the pressure, you make this transition while “taking care of a little person who may not be sleeping very well.” Denise Rousseau, a professor of organizational behavior and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, is an “extreme physical and mental adjustment.” “You may not be ready to let go of your child,” she says. Or maybe you feel guilty about your decision to return to work in the first place. “All of this is normal,” of course, but that “doesn’t make it any less stressful.” Recovery is a challenge, and there is no perfect way. Trust that “you’re going to do well,” he says, and know that there are many ways to do this. Here are some tips on how to navigate these first few weeks back at work.

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Going Back To Work After Baby? Tips For Working After Maternity Leave

Be gentle with yourself First things first: “Try not to take your emotional heat for the first two to three weeks” you’re back at work, says Dowling. Your life has changed dramatically. “You’ll be tired, frustrated and full of self-doubt,” she says, possibly conflicting whether to go back to work or stay at home. In fact, many people return from parental leave and consider quitting. But just because you’re sad or anxious now doesn’t mean you always will be, she says. “It’s an emotional time.” Remember that it is too early to “draw conclusions”. Don’t ignore your feelings, but remember that, like your new baby’s ages and stages, this too will pass. “Don’t be too hard on yourself,” agrees Rousseau.

Figure out your schedule Transitioning back to work will “never be easy,” but “there are many aspects of it that you can manage and plan for,” says Dowling. For example, the question of whether you are slowly returning to work a few days a week or resuming full-time work. Not everyone has an option, but if you do, it makes sense to consider the pros and cons of each.

Whichever way you choose, Dowling recommends working out just two or three days in your first week back at work. A mid-week start lets you adjust a little more slowly and ensures you’re not stuck with a five-day workout right from the start, which will definitely feel too long.

Do some practice tests Returning from parental leave often involves a complex new set of logistics. Dowling advises to “try to prevent them” as much as possible to “reduce the impact”. Start with the basics: The first day you go back to work shouldn’t be the first day your child goes to daycare or stays home with a new nanny. Dowling suggests doing at least a few practice tests or asking your sitter to start a week early. “Get your child used to the process and learn to care,” she says. Hard lines will also help you. “Get up in the morning, take a shower, put on your work clothes, feed the baby, take her to daycare, get your Starbucks and drive to the office,” she says. “Then turn right back around.” If you’re nursing, try adding a pumping session or two in there too. Your goal, says Rousseau, is to get a “true preview” of what to expect.

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Be upfront with your boss It may not be on your first day back, but at some point, you need to be honest with your boss about the new realities of your life as they relate to your work. Have a “preliminary conversation,” he says. Dowling. Acknowledge that “the next few weeks may be rough”—your emotions may be all over the map—but make it clear that “you’re still fully committed to your job and organization.” Think about what you need from your employer and how to make your new situation work best for you. Bring up “projects you’d like to be considered” and “work travel you’re willing to do or not,” adds Dowling. “You need to proactively own your story; The more you can control, the better.” Rousseau suggests asking your boss for advice and counsel on how to successfully re-enter. About what can be achieved in your first few weeks and months back at work. Be honest and realistic. “Talk to your manager about what’s critical versus what’s cool.”

Set expectations with colleagues Be careful how you manage relationships with colleagues as you settle into your new work life. Many parents return from vacation with “the mindset of ‘I’ll figure it out’ or ‘I’ll adapt,'” but that’s dangerous, Dowling says. “If you don’t go in with a clear idea of ​​your schedule and plans, others will make assumptions.” Communication is critical. Be direct about how and when you will work. Plan your schedule. For example, “if you need to be on point every night at 5 p.m., then people will know not to walk into your office at 4:59 p.m. and not want to talk,” he says. Things can change over time and even on the fly, of course, but if you “educate your colleagues on what to expect”—and clearly explain your schedule requirements—they’ll learn how and when accordingly. fix the need.

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Seek support Reclaiming your professional life is a process – don’t go at it alone. As you make the transition, Dowling advises, seek support and encouragement. “Join a network of parents,” she says. Look for an online support community. “Make connections with people in your neighborhood who also have young children.” Find out if your employer has resources for new parents. Seek advice from colleagues who have been through the process.

Tips For Going Back To Work After Maternity Leave

Be intentional about your time with your child When you get back to work, think about “how you’re going to spend time with your kids,” Dowling says. Will it be tomorrow? In the evenings? Mostly weekends? Especially “if you work long hours or travel,” you need to have a plan for when you will have “reward time” with your child. Let your child’s care be in your thoughts. Whether the baby goes to daycare or stays at home with a nanny or family member, these people are now critical pieces of your professional puzzle. “Do you want them to send you pictures while you’re at work? Are you going to FaceTime?” The bottom line is, “Don’t let your emotional bond with your child play second fiddle,” Dowling says. “Be aware.”

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Reset Your Expectations In those early days of returning to work, it’s wise to think about how you can reposition yourself professionally. Think about “what makes you special or different,” Dowling says. Then think about how to change these traits to fit your new life. “If you were the toughest person in the office, then maybe you

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