Return to work – Preparing yourself for your return
For the return to work after maternity leave, parental leave, or extended period from work, it is important to have some tools to come back to when you are having tough days. We often have a lot of the practical preparation done, and everyone else in the family and work sorted, but what about ourselves.
Top Practical Tips for returning HERE
Below are some tips to help you prepare yourself for returning, and these tips can be revisited if you find yourself having a tough day:
Importance of setting boundaries when return to work
- Understanding your own boundaries and communicating these to work and at home. What time do you want to finish each day? Do you work in evening when kids there? Do you do emails in evening etc. Boundaries can change as time goes on, but important to understand your levels are.
- It is key to not be too hard on self when things don’t go to plan, as inevitably they won’t.
- There is always going to be a level of guilt, but trying to lessen it as much as possible will help with a smooth return. I’ve learned, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t!
- Key is to identify what you feel guilty about, is it a real guilt for you, or perhaps one you feel you “should” be doing because of pressure from around you.
- Once identified, re-frame that guilt, and put in place actions to lessen the guilt.
For example feeling guilty of kids being in childcare all day. Re-frame to consider their development and being around other characters and situations, lessen it by perhaps signing up to a class at weekend with kid, or deciding a certain time each weekend is no phone/screen time for whole family and on the ground playing…Something that is meaningful for you and your family situation to help lessen the guilt.
Overcoming self limiting beliefs or self doubt
Research shows that 75% of Mums felt their confidence was low returning to work. We worry such much about our ability to do the role, our ability to be a “perfect” parent, that we have missed key things while off etc…but more than likely our concerns are not based on facts, but things we are feeling, and saying to ourselves, “I can’t”, I shouldn’t”, “I don’t know how”. It is working on switching our mindsets to I can, I am able, my experience shows…….
Always remember, open communication with those around you is key and also delegation, so the full weight of you going back is not all on you.