How To Return Back To The Workforce After Pregnancy
Returning to work after having your baby can be an emotional time, so we’ve created some tips to make your transition a little bit smoother.
It takes one attempt to update your resume while your baby, screaming, chucks up on you to make you chuck out your cold coffee and go scream into a pillow.
It's not always easy to figure out the logistics of how you’re going to get back in the game and decide what your career has in store, all while ensuring the wellbeing of your bub.
Give yourself permission to feel how you feel
It’s different for every Mum. You might be feeling overwhelming sadness, fear and even guilt about leaving your little one. You might be feeling relieved and excited to put more focus on your career and self-development outside of Mumhood. Maybe you’re angry your company doesn’t offer maternity leave or work from home policies. It’s okay to feel however you need to feel, and it’s okay to feel totally different than the next Mum. Acknowledge your feelings, write them down and then deal with them productively like the boss Mama you are.
Consider your options
Every time you think you are out of options, you’re most certainly not. You are the CEO of your life so demote and promote accordingly. You’re never stuck in a job, situation or relationship and you owe it to yourself to create the best possible future for yourself and your family. Laptop lifestyles are becoming more and more common and part time work is also another great option for new Mums.
Think about the career you truly want
Instead of thinking about the short term of how you’re going to contribute to the mortgage or pay down that wedding debt, consider a career that will truly add to your life and future long term. Did you love the career you had before you fell pregnant? Did you develop a passion while pregnant that you secretly want to pursue? Now is the time, girlfriend! Companies are always hiring and jobs are always needing filling, so don’t limit yourself. Keep your options, mind and heart open while you step into the next chapter of your life.
Make a strong entrance
Enter the workforce strong with a bulletproof resume, cover letter and personal brand. The best way to create a strong resume is to have an extremely clear vision of what you want in your future. Then, gear your resume toward what you truly want and highlight the experience you’ve gained to make you perfect for the job. Consider hiring a career coach, professional resume writer or consult a friend in human resources to make sure you’re presenting yourself in the best possible light. Consider creating a LinkedIn account and connecting with professional people in your network. Be resourceful and make sure you’ve got all the right tools to get where you want to be.
If you’re returning from a mat leave
If you are returning to the same company you worked for previously, meet with someone on the leadership team to discuss any changes while you were out and any shifts in priority for the department. What are the top priorities now? This will help you hit the ground running on what is most pressing and help you settle back in quickly. Other things you may wish to discuss are flexible working hours or the possibility of part-time.
Dominate your schedule
Returning to work involves a completely new routine so preparation is your friend. If your husband doesn’t stay at home, opt for childcare close to your work. Pack baby bags and meal prep ahead of time. We’re talking a breast pump, extra nursing pads and healthy meals ready for when you need them.
Invest in a new wardrobe
You may be able to slip into your pre-pregnancy clothing no problem but most of the time, this isn’t the case. It took nine months for your body to get to here and it won’t come back to what you’re used to overnight. However, many women experience body changes that last after pregnancy. For some women, it means going up a couple cup sizes. For others, it may mean more curves and thicker thighs. We recommend maternity dresses that will still flatter your body before, during and after pregnancy. All changes are beautiful and natural so opt for a new wardrobe that you feel confident in.
Say 'YES' to help
You don’t need to be a super-Mum. If you have parents, grandparents, neighbours, or friends offering to help out with babysitting, take them up on the offer! This is not the time to be proud. Besides, most relatives and friends will be more than happy to help you transition.
Share the responsibilities
Daycare drop offs can be stressful and at times, teary-eyed for both you and your bub. Don’t feel as though tasks like daycare drop offs and feeding baby are all your responsibility. Coordinate with your partner so that you're sharing the load of baby duties.
Hire a cleaner
If you can afford it, hire a cleaner to help with household chores and domestic duties. This is especially needed if you are working full time. Taking care of a child, or a few children whilst being responsible for all the domestic duties, day care drop offs, exercise... It's just too much! Many cleaners offer reduced rates if you are needing them on an ongoing basis.
Get ready for post-baby baby brain
Many Mums experience a lot of sickness and have baby brain for a good six months after giving birth. We like to call it, "Nappy-bottle mode." Daycare means your child is being exposed to other children and when one gets a cold or flu, it tends to spread all the way to you. Eat healthy and take cold and flu fighting supplements to help combat the dreaded daycare sicknesses.
Expect the unexpected
You never know when you’re going to receive a call from the daycare lady letting you know that your bub is making a mess everywhere you need to come straight away. You’re there, on the other side of the phone at the office, afraid to ask which end the mess is coming from. Expect the unexpected and prepare in advance with your employer for surprise situations.
Most importantly, be patient as you transition into a new beginning of being a career Mum. Your schedule, body and really your entire life is changing and that can be a really positive experience if you let it be. Now go be a kickass boss Mama!