Returning To Work After Maternity Leave
If you are planning on returning to work after maternity leave, chances are you are feeling a bit apprehensive about going back to your current job. It is normal to feel out of the loop after having a long stretch of time off and unless your company offers keeping in touch days or you are fortunate enough to be friends with your work colleagues who have kept you informed, you might well be feeling positively anxious too! Don’t be too hard on yourself though, after all you have just experienced a major life changing event.
The important thing is to be prepared and make sure you know your rights when talking to your employers about returning to work. You can find out your employers legal obligations on www.direct.gov and also on www.businesslink.co.uk
Here are some tips to help you make the transition to return to work:
- Try to keep in touch with your line manager during your maternity leave roughly every 6-8 weeks. Maybe you could be still included in any important company news that comes via email? Discuss the best way you can keep in the loop.
- You are not alone – find a good forum online. There will be lots of other Mum’s in your position that can give you advice and reassurance.
- If you have taken a full year off work, speak to your employer about staggering your return to work to ease you in gently.
- Treat yourself to some new stationery the weeks preceding your return – we all need a notepad and nice pen! This will help you to start getting in the mindset of being back at work.
- It will get easier – your first couple of weeks back might be quite challenging, but once you get into a routine things will soon settle.
- Don’t feel guilty! Your child won’t suffer as a result of you returning to work. Children thrive in happy environments, so a happy Mummy = a happy baby.
Of course initially it is going to be difficult to get used to the idea of your child being in the care of a nursery, nanny or child-minder, but once your child settles in (and you do too!) it will be much easier. If you are finding after a few months that you are unhappy in your current job, or are finding leaving your child too difficult, then do have a think about your options – there are many! Maybe now is the time to find a more flexible work from home job, or retrain for a different career. Take a look at some of the other articles on Work For Mums to get some inspiration.