Tips on returning to work after maternity leave
1: Plan ahead:
The earlier you start to think about returning the more you will be able to create a plan that is achievable. Start preparing for your return to work well in advance, by discussing your schedule and responsibilities with your employer, arranging childcare, and organizing your home and work life. Some childcare settings have waiting lists of 6-12 months (and longer in desirable catchment areas!) so if you want to reduce the stress of returning to work after maternity leave then this is one we would definitely recommend tackling first!
2: Flexible schedule:
Consider a flexible schedule or remote working options if they are available to you when you are discussing your return to work after maternity leave with your employer. Since Covid there has been a real shift in attitude towards remote and hybrid working, so you are more likely to have a favourable conversation on this than ever before. You can reduce your stress levels so much by agreeing a work schedule that is going to fit in with your family – and your sanity. With quiet quitting becoming more and more of a trend, employers are working harder on colleague engagement and satisfaction, which is bloody brilliant news to be honest and well overdue.
With flexible working that looks at hybrid options for going into the office, you can get that much needed interaction with colleagues and the coffee run chats, as well as being able to manage parenthood, and well, life in general. And for that, you need the kit that is going to help you do it stylishly as well as practically…
3: Prioritise self-care:
Taking care of yourself is crucial during this time, and for the record, taking a bath as an isolated incident once in a blue moon is not self care. Making sure you set aside decent time for exercise, relaxation, and social activities to help you recharge and reduce stress is going to make a massive difference when you are returning to work after maternity leave. If your time and funds are limited then look at small things that you can set into your schedule, make a set of commitments to yourself and clearly communicate them with your loved ones so that they can support you. Trust us, it will make everyone better people.
4: Communicate with your employer:
Communicating openly with your employer about your needs and concerns, and being proactive in seeking support and accommodations is a great tip for returning to work after maternity leave. As previously mentioned, employers are working harder than ever to create inclusive workplaces, and a lot of organisations now have infrastructure in place to support your return to work, and your wellbeing as an employee that is a working parent. Parenting expert Rachel Brydon, founder of Calm in the Chaos, a Cardiff based working parent support consultancy says that more and more employers are recognising the need to have support packages in place for employees. “Employers can see the tangible benefits of reduced absence and improved engagement from having working parents well supported, so don’t be shy about having a conversation with your Manager or HR department”.
5: Build your best support network:
One of the key things we would say to consider when returning to work after maternity is to build the best support network possible. Look to connect with other working parents, not just your NCT group or other friends, for emotional and practical support. It doesn’t have to be in real life either, there are some brilliant online groups that can give you support, encouragement and sympathy when required! We set up Keri Kit Kit Girls Club on Facebook as a community for women to laugh, share and inspire each other – with the love of our kit bags bringing everyone together. You shouldn’t underestimate the power of finding your tribe. It will help you to navigate the return to work after maternity leave – and so much more!
6: Be patient with yourself:
It is important to remember that it takes time to adjust to the demands of work and parenthood, and it is okay to feel overwhelmed or stressed at times. No one is perfect, no matter what Instagram and Pinterest would have you think! A great tip is to plan some digital detox time so that you don’t get overwhelmed with the online expectations which seem to dominate early parenthood these days. There will be days when chicken dippers and chips is a perfectly acceptable dinner, and using an electronic babysitter for 30 minutes while you find the corkscrew for the wine is completely justifiable.
7: Seek support:
If you find that you are struggling with returning to work after maternity leave, do not, whatever you do, suffer in silence. We would really encourage you to seek support whenever it is needed, either from your GP or other community support, or perhaps even a therapist to help you navigate the challenges of returning to work and balancing family and work responsibilities.
Tips on returning to work after maternity leave
By following these tips and being proactive in seeking support, you can definitely help make your transition back to work after maternity leave smoother and more manageable. And now that you are feeling ready to navigate this next chapter, why not start with a new commuter kit bag for all those working parent essentials?