It was 2020 when my own maternity leave finished and I had to go back to work. The pandemic did change the way that I worked …but there were still many things I needed to consider before returning back to work. The return to work breeds such mixed emotions and can be overwhelming, however with the right preparation it doesn’t have to be. I want to share 10 tips that helped me return back to work:
1. Make a gradual transition – Don’t rush into returning to full days and hours straight away, your body has been through so much during pregnancy and you need time to adjust. If your employer allows, take the first few weeks gradually and increase your working hours until you’re back up to pre-maternity leave levels.
2. Talk to colleagues – Take this time to talk with colleagues about who’s taking on certain responsibilities during your maternity leave and what tasks they might need help with while you’re gone. This will make it easier when you come back as everyone knows who is doing what and how they can help each other out!
3. Attend Meetings – Make sure to attend any upcoming meetings or catch up on what’s been happening while you’ve been away. This will ensure that you’re up to date and have the right information before heading back into work.
4. Catch Up On Tasks – Take some time to review emails and other tasks that were left behind when you went off for maternity leave. This will help reduce stress levels when you return as you won’t be trying to play catch-up from day one!
5. Talk With Your Boss – Set up a meeting with your boss and talk about your role, responsibilities, expectations and hours upon returning back to work. This is also a great opportunity to discuss any concerns or questions you may have too.
6. Set Boundaries – One of the most important things to do when returning back to work is setting boundaries for yourself and your family. Make sure to take time for yourself and prioritize your own health and well-being.
7. Plan Ahead – If possible try to plan ahead so that you’re prepared for any last minute changes or tasks you need to complete before heading back into work. This will also give you peace of mind knowing that everything is taken care of!
8. Have Flexible Hours – If possible, ask your employer if it’s possible to have flexible hours while balancing family life and work responsibilities. Having a balance can really make going back after maternity leave much easier and less stressful.
9. Take Breaks – Make sure to take regular breaks throughout the day so you can recharge and refuel. This also gives you time away from work to spend with your family and loved ones.
10. Stay Connected – Lastly, stay connected with other moms who are making their own transition back into the workplace. Find a support system that works for you and be honest about how you’re feeling!
Remember, it’s okay to take things slow and ease your way back into the workplace. Everyone’s situation is different and there’s no one-size fits all approach when it comes to returning after maternity leave!
All the best, mama! You’ve got this. 🙂