Thursday, October 8, 2009

Returning to work after maternity leave

Returning to work can be a daunting idea for a new mom who has to go back to work after a few months of maternity leave. It is hardly surprising that returning to work after 3, 6 or even 12 months of maternity leave can be, for many women, traumatic. Feeling concerned, anxious, guilty, frustrated and overwhelmed all at the same time is not uncommon in new mothers before being fully ready for work.

How to live serenely the return to work

Being anxious and puzzled when you return back to work is absolutely normal as the time you spent at home with your baby was considerable. Moreover, it may happen that, once you return, you will find all the dynamics and balances between your colleagues completely changed from the day you left them till the point you feel like you have to begin all over again.
In such a cases, it is easier to get discouraged as on one hand your recurring thoughts are always turned to you baby waiting for you at home in her pram and on the other hand the frenzied paces of your work become every day heavier and unbearable.

But don't despair. Working mothers face many challenges, but with careful planning you can make a smooth transition.

What to do:

- Ask in advance your head office a more flexible working hours and if you can take permits such as parental leave or a time off to deal with family emergency: this is a right that is guaranteed by the law and the contract
- Gather information about what happened during your absence and the projects underway
- Answer the little curiosities of your colleagues about pregnancy, breastfeeding and your baby’s growth: that will be an important moment to resume some important relationships
- Don’t be scared of facing demanding business tasks as they will help you take your place in the company again and increase your self confidence
- When you return to work after maternity leave is normal being anxious: that’s why it could be useful phoning home and making sure that everything is fine

What not to do:

- Do not let your company decide in your place but arrange together flexible working hours and permits
- Do not consider your substitute as a threat but let her help you to face the impending deadlines
- Do not talk at length about nappies and baby bottles: even if maternity represents a novelty for you and you want to talk about it with enthusiasm, you may run the risk to bore your colleagues
- At first do not postpone hard work as this will help your body and mind resume the daily pace
- In the event you are entrusted with a new task, do not be afraid of it but seize this opportunity to gain experience and grow professionally

Don’t give up!

Unfortunately, many mothers feel disadvantaged on the workplace or on the possibility to build a successful career and they are scared of being unable to reconcile efficiently work with family. Moreover, this feeling becomes consolidated due to their mistrust in the real capacity of public and private companies to offer specific services that support this new condition.
Above all, remember that the most important thing is not surrender and assert your own rights: in this way you will certainly live serenely one of the most beautiful moment of your life.


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