Maternity leave seems to fly by so quickly and before you know it your return to work date is looming perilously close on the calendar. Returning to work takes planning, both professionally and personally so use these points to make sure that you are organised, prepared and on track for returning to work.
As before maternity leave does sometime seem to go so fast and so rather than wait to plan returning to work it may be advisable to start the process earlier on. If you are looking at booking a childminder or nursery place this needs to be done as far in advance as possible as places are often limited and you want to ensure that you have time to investigate your childcare options thoroughly.
Having your childcare arrangements confirmed ahead of time will give you the opportunity to review your working hours, finances etc so that you may give your employers plenty of notice if you would like to change your hours / shifts.
Don’t Obsess About Work
The main bulk of your days before maternity leave were work focused and you might have had work to do at home too. Whatever your work situation was and regardless of how much you like it it is important that you remember to switch off somewhat. Maternity leave is about you, your family, your new baby and about adjusting. Work will be there when the time comes however it is important that you shelve it mentally for a while an concentrate on the important changes in your life instead.
Visit the Office
Don’t access your work emails from home, you are on leave.
Don’t be tempted to pop in weekly under the guise of showing off the new baby for the 30th time so that you can make sure your maternity cover is doing their job properly.
It is reasonable however to keep in touch with your place of work periodically during your leave. You may work up to ten days during your maternity leave and these are called “keeping in touch” days. They are designed primarily to enable you to keep abreast of what is going on in the workplace and also serve to help ease you back into your role when the time comes. Use these if appropriate, otherwise try and maintain a healthy distance between yourself and work as this time is about you and your family.
Keeping in Touch
Aside from these scheduled days it is ok to keep in touch with work in a more social way. Your colleagues are used to having you there for thirty, forty or more hours a week and no doubt you’ll have workplace friendships which you are keen to maintain (not all work friends are social or “at home friends” so if not in work you might not see these people often.
Do pop in post baby to say hello if appropriate and if you feel you need to talk to your manager about hours and working conditions before your back to work interview do make an appointment.
Prepare For Your Return
Going back to work isn’t as easy as it might sound, after all you are not the same person as you were before. Now you are a mother, or a mother of more children than before. Prepare yourself for the changes, however minor that might have occured at work but also bear in mind the changes in yourself. It isn’t easy to slot back into work after a long absence, especially when you have a little one at home who has been your main focus day in and day out for the last few months.
Take it slowly and give yourself a chance to adjust.
What are your top tips for going back to work after maternity leave?