Returning to work after maternity leave
As a self-confessed workaholic, getting pregnant wasn’t high on my priority list in the first place and yet… the end of the magical months of maternity leave was fast approaching and the thought of returning to work and leaving my baby was making me sick to my stomach!
It’s now been one month since I first returned to work and I can honestly say it’s not as bad as I thought. Don’t get me wrong, I cried in my car the first day I left for work but the mornings have become easier, we both have adapted and our time together has become even more precious.
It’s true.. no one knows your baby like you do so the thought of leaving your little one in someone else’s hands is daunting! Balancing your baby’s irregular routines with a 9-5 working day, potentially missing your baby’s milestones or not being able to comfort your baby when they cry, all combine to make what seems like an impossible task to return to work! Unfortunately these feelings will not go away and you will need to learn in your own way how to cope with them, however there are ways in which your employer can help support you in your transition.
As a lover of schedules and checking off my daily to-do list, having a child had thrown me all out of sorts but returning to work has given me back some normality and has actually calmed much of my anxiety. It really helps if your employer is compassionate about your feelings and understands that returning to work is a massive leap as a new parent. With compassion comes empathy and flexibility, all benefits an employer can give to their employee to help support this difficult transition.
As someone who has experienced this transition so recently, I would advise anyone returning to work after maternity leave to utilize KIT (keeping in touch) days – should your employer provide them. They are not only a great way for you to establish your new routine, trial your child care and ease you and your baby into this new phase, but they also give you the opportunity to meet any new faces, catch up on new company procedures or perhaps even get familiar with your sparkling new office space!
I would also suggest organizing a sit down with your company’s HR to consider your options before getting yourself all worked up about the if’s and but’s! You might also consider requesting a laptop or perhaps negotiating reduced or flexible working hours. You may be pleasantly surprised by your employer’s sympathetic approach – after all, these things can all contribute towards a happy, healthy and productive working parent.
My final words of wisdom would be – take it slow! A steady pace back into work has been a blessing for me – mixing family child care with nursery; moving from KIT days into full work days; taking advantage of later starts and earlier finishes; these things have all helped with a smooth transition back into the workplace.
Luckily for me, Amarelle has provided it all. I feel their approach to my return has been over and above what I could have ever expected and as a result has made this scary transition an exciting and enjoyable one.Ultimately if you enjoy your job and your company appreciate your employment, jumping back into the rat race and leaving your little one need not be terrifying but an exciting experience for you both!