Returning to Work after Maternity Leave

baby

A New Beginning…

When I had my first baby, no one warned me. I mean about the restriction. You know what I mean, when it dawns on you that you are no longer able to carry on with normal day-to-day activities such as going for a shower, drinking a cup of tea in peace, and of course, going to the toilet. One can no longer jump out the door and have a bit of a shop. Shopping requires more packing than your last sun holiday.. bottles and nappies and changes of clothes, nappy bags and sudocreme. It should have an itinerary list. Simply not worth it. Tesco online shopping is the height of it.

In fact, when you mum (or anyone) arrives to see how you are getting on, and to take over for an hour, it is a serious debate which activity should be prioritized.. Sleeping or eating or showering or cleaning…

You see, in traditional life, the man goes back to work. He is very glad to do so. He cannot do right for doing wrong anyway, you want him to help but he cannot do it right. Some women are blessed with a brilliant man, but really not many. So off to work he goes where he suddenly enjoys it so much more than he did before.

The Beauty routine has also gone out the window, and the notion of the exercise routine to get the figure back. No, sleep and eating and any sort of social activity is very important as well as being comfortable and living in pjs.

So if this describes you, please be assured. You are not alone.

For months of living in this existence and finally getting into a routine, normally when the baby begins to watch TV, life starts to get better. And then Maternity Leave is coming to an end.

The first thing that has to be sorted is the childcare. Some Lucky Mums have family members who can oblige but normally this is not a long-term solution. Childminders have to worry about ratios and Childcare facilities have to be assessed.

 

The journey to the childcare provider and the workplace also has to be assessed. It is hard enough getting the baby ready, getting the baby stuff ready, getting yourself ready and then getting to the childminder / crèche and that is all before a day’s work.

For some Mums, going back to work is an adventure. It is a chance to see old friends, get back into routine and get a piece of their life back. They generally love their job and have worked their way into a position they love. They do not appreciate the fact that the maternity leave cover staff was able to complete all tasks to the same standard as themselves. A little bit of insecurity could creep in as they are out to prove they are a godsend to the company.

For some Mums, going back to work is a nightmare. They might have loved their job but they feel a sense of dread as they try to work out if they are going to be able to cope and manage all the extra duties they have as a mummy as well as working.

Now I feel quite passionate about one thing that many people do not take into consideration and that is the fact that throughout school, university and training, that no one every mentions the fact that the woman, who is likely to become a mummy, has all these extra duties to consider that no one has trained her for.

In this day and age, with woman’s rights and equal pay and all that goes with it, in many cases it is unfair as the woman has the care of the child to consider and to fight for her position as equal employee.

We can say that men, and many do, also complete the household tasks and childcare runs etc, but in the many cases, that is simply not true. And it might not be true that the man is lazy or disinterested. It might be true that the woman assumes this role as it is in her maternal nature.

Some women are very lucky to have an employer who will work around her. They are maybe flexible or she may have so much value to them, they will do their best to work around her new responsibilities.

Because motherhood is a job and it is a responsibility, probably the most important one that a woman can have. You can have career advice and work placement but the warning that there may be a workplace restriction is never told to any woman – EVER. It is assumed that she will find the way if she wants to work.

I believe that this is the reason why we have so many home business Mums, some of whom are very smart and talented. Please never assume that a work from home mum is not smart enough to get a “proper job” – she is probably putting her career on hold and her responsibility as a mother first, and doing whatever she can to pay the bills and have an identity.

We all perceive our own identities. Our identity is very important to us. Never lose sight of the fact you are doing your best. Set goals and reward yourself whenever you achieve them. Surround yourself with happy and motivated people.

Most of all remember to try to achieve a stress free work / life balance because money isn’t everything and children grow up so fast.

 

 

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