Returning to work after maternity leave

Returning to work after maternity

Returning to work after Maternity leave

In this modern day and age, motherhood has become more of a balancing act: between two facets of your own personality, between motherhood and career. Ideally, motherhood and career are not mutually exclusive, although this notion will take some time to settle in.

Recently, the Indian government increased maternity leave to six months making it easier for mothers to transition back to their careers. Now mothers can at least complete her exclusive breastfeeding course with her newborn as recommended by the WHO, all in the best interest of the baby.

There are many reasons where you may have to return to work after the baby: a pure passion for work, financial support to the family and financial independence for self. And you go, girl! However, easier said than done. Going to back to work leaving behind that little bundle of joy can be emotionally challenging, with guilt being a major part of the emotion.

Surely you have thought hard about returning to work and have weighed your options. Here’s a list to remind you why returning to work is a great idea:

  • Pursuing your passion for work makes a powerful statement about your identity – your workplace is where you are yourself, and not someone’s mother or wife. This feeling of identity gives a great boost to self-esteem. A confident woman makes a great mother.
  • Financial support to your partner and financial independence for yourself – additional income is always welcome and goes a long way in supporting a chunk of household. This sort of support strengthens the bond between husband and wife. Plus the financial independence, who doesn’t want that?
  • If you are independent, you are unconsciously encouraging your child to be independent as well. Of course, this is possible only when there is a right balance between home and career.

Tips to prepare yourself on returning to work after maternity - Practical aspects

  • If you intend to return to the same company after the baby, keep in touch with your colleagues and keep yourself updated with the current happenings of the company so that you don’t feel left out.
  • If you intend to look for a new job, make sure you stay in touch with your skills so that you don’t fumble in your interviews.
  • Once your decision to return to work is made, don’t think twice about it. Now it’s time to decide who looks after the baby. Talk to your family and take their suggestions.
  • If it’s a grandparent offering their help, accept it but ensure that they know what it entails, and you too understand that they may not be able to handle the physical energy of a baby. Hire a babysitter or a maid to help the grandparent with the physical aspects of caring for the baby.
  • If you are planning to keep the baby at the daycare, then research the daycare center well in advance, and decide accordingly.
  • If you are going to hire a 24/7 maid, interview her and get her references checked. Get a police verification done.
  • Start leaving the baby with child minder for some time at first and gradually increase the time of separation. This way the child will gradually get used to your absence for a long periods of time.
  • Do a trial run of travelling back from work. This will give you a confidence of staying away from home.

Tips to prepare yourself on returning to work after maternity - Emotional aspects

  • Most importantly, respect your decision of going back to work, and don’t feel guilty. You know why you are returning to work, so stick to it.
  • Be patient with yourself. You need time to adjust to being away from your baby too.
  • Don’t make any big decisions about your work within a few weeks of joining. Give yourself some time to adapt.
  • Have a thick skin, because you know there is going to be someone who will say something stupid and hurtful. Keep reminding yourself why you joined work and be clear about it.

Always remember, you are a mother now, and a better person all over because of it. Whatever you do, you have your family’s best interests at heart. Don’t apologize for being yourself. Your child is looking at you!