Returning to Work After Maternity Leave? Here are 3 Simple Tips to Make Your Re-Entry Easier by Kath Slogget
We talked about these and many more tips at our recent #maternityreturners workshop.
Why? It’s very likely that your boss and colleagues will mentally write off the first few days, waiting until your first full week back to bombard you with work projects and meeting requests. It gives you a small amount of breathing room to schedule some informal catch ups so you can start your first full week feeling more ready and in control.
It also means that you only have to get through 2 or 3 days of organising everyone (outfits, journeys, work, packing bags, clock watching, etc) before you have two days over the weekend to assess how it’s going and make any tweaks. And most of us mums can get power through 2-3 days of anything – after all we’ve survived life with a newborn!
Clear out Your Email Inbox
Your inbox will be full of emails about things that were important but probably aren’t any more. So, before you start trying to catch up on months of missed emails, move your entire inbox into a new folder called ‘Maternity Leave’. Do it now before you are tempted to just have a quick look through them! Then do a search for your boss’ name and the HR Manager who is involved in your maternity leave. Look at anything received from those two people in the last 4 weeks. Ignore everything else. You will learn more by speaking with people – and you’ll find it easier to pick up on the politics and nuances by meeting face-to-face – than by reading those hundreds of emails. A sure-fire way to never get back on top of it all, is to start 3/6/9/12 months behind! Start today and start fresh.
Live the Easy Life for a Week
…or two weeks if you can. Your career re-entry is a project in itself and you need to make a few allowances to make it as easy as possible for your whole family.
Practically, this might mean taking a taxi from home to the nursery, or from home to your office. Yes, you will normally walk/get the bus/drive and park but it will take longer and the timings are less predictable. It might mean asking a nursery friend, or a nursery teacher, to collect your little one on their way past to save you doing the nursery drop off. It might mean getting a meal delivered every evening, or delegating the dinner prep to your partner. It might involve you asking your cleaner to do extra hours, or asking your nanny/babysitter to help out in the morning or evening even though you will cover these times yourself once you are settled in at work.
This is not forever. It’s just a little extra help to make your re-entry smoother. You are a wonderful mum, you will be great at your job, but you don’t have to be Superwoman on the very first day back. Take is easy on yourself and make it as stress-free as possible for your whole family.
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