Tremendous feedback to my article which featured in last weeks online website: theworking mother.ie
Did you press pause on your career to welcome a bundle of joy? Did you take six months maternity leave plus a few weeks unpaid? Maybe you decided to take extended leave to nurture the little ones until school going age…
Inevitably, many of us return to the workplace after this time out. In my capacity as a Life Coach (and being a working mum myself!), I often meet moms ‘pre’ and ‘during’ this transition.
Many women have the same doubts and anxieties before and during this period of re-adjustment: fear at the thought of returning to work; the perceived “irrelevance” of skills; the guilt; having a ‘baby brain’ (“I find it hard to remember where I put my keys!!”); and sometimes, an overwhelming sense of anxiety about how to juggle family and work commitments going forward.
Can you identify with some of the feelings above? I know that I can…
Here are some of my tips for how to survive the transition back to work after maternity leave:
- Source plenty of SUPPORT (emotional and physical) during this big transition – confide in your partner and/ or gal-pals. Tell them what you need. Ask for their encouragement – it will get you through!
- Call in those FAVOURS! Did granny promise to babysit? Then take her up on her offer – this will allow you some downtime!
- Engage with your NETWORK, ask other working mums for their practical tips on tasks like cooking or school runs (I remember ‘straight-to-wok-noodles’ were a godsend for me!)
- FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE ASPECTS of your workplace (perhaps it’s that child- free cup of coffee or some adult company).
- NOTE how you’re feeling during this transition; consider journaling your thoughts in a notebook. It can be helpful and practical to capture what you felt went well for you on a particular day.
- PLAN some family fun at the weekends – whatever that is for you!
- ALLOW for at least six weeks to pass before making any kind of decision around the viability and impact of the new transition – don’t rule anything out and lastly…
- Be KIND TO and BELIEVE IN Trust that you are exactly where you are supposed to be and really try to go with the flow as quite often, stress comes with resisting change!
And if you decide after trying all of the above, that the old job does not integrate with the revised you, make that choice, take control and make a change.
Change. Grow. Succeed.
Gillian McGrath is a Cork based Life and Business Coach and founder of ChangeGrowSucceed.
For more information, please see www.changegrowsucceed.com.