Returning to work after a lengthy maternity break is the reality for most mothers. For a lot them, there is a great sense joy and anticipation in being able to return to their workplace and reconnect with colleagues, especially if constantly being at home with their beloved newborn caused cabin fever to set in. Sure, they might have been able to occupy themselves by getting paid to write college papers and such, but at some point it is time to get back into the daily grind of working at the office. But whether they look forward to going back or not, every mother experiences adjustments that they must adapt to. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of these challenges and how mothers returning to the workforce can successfully deal with them.
Everything Has Changed
One of the biggest surprises that await women who return from maternity leave is the discovery that things around the office have changed considerably. In her absence, old co-workers have left for other jobs, new colleagues with different personalities have come in, and the staff who had taken over duties while she was on leave might not be particularly eager to give it back. This can have a serious emotional effect on you if you aren’t prepared.
Fortunately, there are ways to nip this issue in the bud before potential problems arise. As you are recovering, maintain contact with your workplace via email and phone calls. As soon as you are physically able to, make plans to visit the workplace and say hello. If it is a particularly close-knit place, feel free to bring your newborn along and introduce him/her! The most important thing is maintaining a good rapport with your colleagues and finding out something about newer employees. Throughout the duration of your maternity leave, stay in regular contact with those who are responsible for your previous duties and, of course, get a clear picture of what your supervisor expects when you finally do make your return. If you go about these strategies the right way, you will have nothing to worry!
Prepare for Problems in Advance
Once the picture is clear and you know what is waiting for you, preparation is key. Brainstorm and consider all of the potential challenges that you might encounter on the first day back. A couple of examples might include:
- new employees whom you know nothing about;
- rustiness as it relates to old responsibilities and training for new tasks.
Next to each idea, determine how serious you think the problem could be, discuss the options for handling them, and which colleagues would be best to turn to for assistance. The bottom line is designing a plan for solving the problem and take care for it in advance. Perhaps you would benefit from refresher courses or socio-psychological training, which will refresh your skills of interaction with people and increase self-esteem.
Conduct an audit of everything that you know and are skilled in. In a notepad, jot down all your skills in a professional and related field. Separately, write down all your strengths and virtues.
Look for Support
Since returning to the hustle and bustle of work can be a stressful event, it is important for a mother to seek out support during this period. Support can certainly be found from family and best friends. Sharing your emotions and feelings with your parents, siblings, friends and husband. It is important that they understand what kind of support you need now. As a rule, it is important for a woman to be able to share her feelings without moralizing, pointing out mistakes or empty phrases that she is strong and she will succeed. So sometimes it is okay to ask, for example, your husband to just listen and offer physical comfort. At other times, ask when you really need advice, ask them for suggestions.
Consider What You Need to Do to Prepare for Now
Whether or not you are thrilled to start working again once your maternity leave ends and regardless of your attitude to the work ahead, returning to work is a stressful event and it will require a woman to mobilize her forces and a certain period of adaptation. The reason is that going to work after a long break is typically connected with the following phenomena.
- A change of life scenery. Before returning to work, the mother had to recover from giving birth, adjust to the new routine of taking care of a newborn, and spend significant amounts of time at home. But now, she will have to find a way to get back into the groove of an office environment again.
- Change in status. While at home, the mother was the queen bee, devoting virtually all of her time to her child/children. The focus was on meeting their needs and providing them with care and affection. But while at work she essential a drone again. Her boss and colleagues expert her to meet deadlines, deal with clients, and an array of other tasks associated with her job.
- Change in the rhythm of life. Work entails a change in the rhythm of life compared to caring for a baby. Now it will be based on a defined work schedule, on which the amount of time devoted to recreation and family is more limited. The change in the rhythm of life entails changes in the functioning of the body and its sleep, food, and rest schedule.
- Change of family roles. With the employment of a woman, she introduces a professional role in her repertoire, and the role of the wife, mother, and keeper of the hearth continues to be performed, abet less often. This entails a redistribution of responsibilities in the family and changing attitudes.
- Separation from the child. Going back to work also results in a period of separation between mother and child. The child gains more and more independence, relies less on their mother as they develop more skills, and goes to daycare. For both mother and child, a difficult but very sentimental period of the confluence with each other ends.
Thus, it is important to understand and prepare for the fact that returning to work is stressful. Awareness of this fact and understanding what is waiting for you will make it much easier to succeed as you make the transition. Sometimes a new mother, experiencing stress symptoms such as fatigue, depression, loss of strength, irritation, and not understanding what is happening to her physically or emotionally, simultaneously begins to feel guilty. She may feel that such feelings are caused by her unwillingness to work, inability to join the team, or loss of skills. In fact, it can only be a reaction to a stressful event. As a new mother, you are going through adaptation, and you need to give yourself time whenever you switch to a new activity. The mere understanding of this fact can go along way towards handling the stress.
About The Author – Carol James writer and editor EssayLab
I am an academic writer at EssayLab, which is a great service that provides writing and proficient school essay help for people of all school levels. Our objective is to simplify your high school studies and give everyone an opportunity to flourish without having excess strain.
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Also published on Medium.