One of the biggest fears many first-time mothers have is how taking time out to have a child will affect their career. The good news is it doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are seven tips from Sage Singleton of DailyWorth to make your transition back to work after maternity leave easier.
1 Develop a routine
In the weeks before you go back to work, start getting yourself and your baby into a routine. Schedule feedings, naps and playtime that will stay the same once you’re back at work so it’ll be easier for both of you to adjust after maternity leave.
2 Set clear expectations for your childcare provider
Whether you’ve got a nanny or a family member to look after your baby, it’s important to make arrangements with someone you trust as soon as you know your work schedule. Clearly communicate this with them so you don’t suddenly find yourself without childcare five minutes before you’re due to leave the house. And always have a back-up plan in case there’s an emergency with your chosen provider.
3 Communicate your needs with your company
It’s important to have regular meetings and phone calls with your HR department and boss so you can lay out some ground rules for your return to work. This will give you a better understand of what your company expects and also allows you to negotiate flexible working arrangements. Use this time to outline your needs, such as set breaks to check in with your childcare provider or to pump if you’re breastfeeding.
4 Maintain a meeting schedule
Your transition back to work after maternity leave doesn’t stop on your first day at the office. Keep the lines of communication open and schedule regular meetings with your boss in the weeks following your return to discuss how things are going and whether things need to change to meet your requirements. Honesty is the best policy, so don’t be afraid to speak up if your employer can do more to help you.
5 Stay in control of your week
Going back to point three, you should develop a schedule for your entire week so you can manage your workload without getting overwhelmed. Try not to take on too much for the first couple of weeks while you readjust, and avoid multitasking.
6 Take breaks
If this is your first child, you’ll likely be worried and will constantly think about what’s happening with your baby all day. Taking regular breaks is important for your mental health anyway, so use this opportunity to call your childcare provider and make sure everything’s okay. Modern technology can go a long way toward easing your mind; ask your nanny to make use of video calls so you can have eyes on your baby at various points throughout the day.
7 Keep your colleagues in the loop
Research shows that having friends at work can make you more productive, so use some of your breaks to catch up with your colleagues. Find out what’s happened in their lives while you’ve been away and be open with them about how your transition from maternity leave is going. Sometimes having an ear to listen at work can go a long way to making things easier on you.
Read the original article at bit.ly/2ixB7sM