You're about to have a baby and are thinking ahead. You've got a million-and-one questions.
What happens when you're on maternity leave? Will you be forgotten? And how will you feel when it's time to return from work in six months or a year?
Will you be overwhelmed by emotion? Will you feel self doubt about your ability to automatically return at the top of your game? Will you feel guilty about leaving your baby at home?
It's good to plan in three phrases, to ensure a successful return to work:
- before you go on leave
- while you are on leave
- once you've returned to work.
Find out about your entitlements - this can vary depending on your supervisor and whether you're working in the public sector or private sector. Public sector organisations are usually much more supportive of women going on maternity leave, although no organisation can afford to lose their staff when there is such a skills shortage.Step two
Remember that it's a fact of life that only women have babies. You were hired because of your experience and skills, and your organisation has invested money and time in training you. So it's to your organisation's advantage that you return. Be strong and ask what you need, clearly and confidently.
√ Let go of your guilt. Returning to work often poses emotional conflicts for new mothers. But working outside the home doesn't make you a bad mother. And it's OK to look forward to the challenges and interactions of your job. Remind yourself that you're doing what's best for you and your family, and then move on.
√ Find dependable child care. Consider local child care providers/facilities or make other arrangements for child care, perhaps even before the baby is born. Look for a safe, stimulating environment