Returning to work after a maternity leave is not easy. The changes happening in your life after you’ve just had a baby are so overwhelming that you feel like you must be available mentally, physically and emotionally. This state of mind mixed with the physical changes that naturally come with having a newborn make it difficult,nerve-racking even stressful to go back to work. Or worse, mind you end up losing your mental balance. You will find here some tips on how to manage your return to work after a maternity leave.
1. Reach out to your company to prepare a good transition from your maternity leave
It would be a mistake to go back to work after a maternity leave without being mentally prepared. It is strongly advised to not make it too sudden. So if you still have two weeks left before you return then try to put yourself back in your own shoes as an employee. Start your preparation by reaching out to your workplace. Do not hesitate to contact your manager to ask him about any new updates in terms of strategies. You must also contact the person who is replacing you so he can give you the last informations about the undergoing files. Be ready to eventually find some new changes in your work schedule. Contact the HR service to find out more about that. A lunch with your colleagues could be a good idea to help you get back in the mood and share a nice time with them. Just make sure to slowly soak in before the big return.
2. Make sure you organize a transition period for the baby before you go back to work
When you are a mother your balance and the well being of your baby come as a pair. That is the reason why you must prepare the baby to the upcoming changes coming in his life with you having to go back to work. This preparation should be done as soon as possible so don’t wait until the last minute to do it. Once you have all the childcare settled and under controlled, it will be important to organize a transition period. Take advantage of that last week before the end of your maternity leave to do a smooth transition. If it is done right then you should be able to anticipate the eventual setbacks to the new planning so the baby has no problem adjusting to his new life. In any case, it is crucial to organize a transition period for the baby before you get back to work so there is no risk of a sudden break in the child’s life rhythm. Specialists actually all agree on the importance of a step by step transition.” It is important for this adjustment to be as progressive as possible” gives Myriam Szejer as an advice. “ It is important to go to the places where the baby will be staying, to make him discover new scents, to leave him there on specific times for one or two hours then a whole day” explains Sylvie Sanchez-Forsans. The idea is to “to let go of the privileged relationship” and create a “new environment”.
3. Trust yourself again…
You must learn to trust yourself again so you don’t experiment any shock following your maternity leave because after you have been away from the office for a long period of time, it can be difficult to get back to your work activity. Many women go as far as doubting their abilities and skills. This feeling of lack of trust is widely present among lots of women who return to their jobs after a maternity leave. Thus, the best way to bring back that trust is to make an assessment of it before your return. “You need to take the time to focus on your accomplishments, on your main skills, what was working very well before you were gone for those few months. This small list allows you to remember and rekindle your trust in yourself. It also serves as to remind you that this is also what people who are in the same work environment as you, remember about you,” advises Jenny Chammas, life coach and founder of Coachappy.