Returning to work after months at home with a baby is far from easy. I wrote about some of the key challenges I faced here.
I’m happy to report the transition has been MUCH smoother the second time around.
Here are six things that helped:
- Kindness always - Patience and encouragement from colleagues is great, but it’s even more important to be gentle with myself, and acknowledge and honour the transition that’s happened.
- Don’t fake it ’til you make it - Being honest about where I’m at with my team took the pressure off massively. During the first month back, I opted for low intensity, internal work instead of highly strategic client jobs.
- Prioritise - the shift from full-time to part-time has meant I’ve had to prioritise the work where I can to add the most value.
- Ask for help - This sounds like the easiest one but it can be the hardest. I’m getting better at delegating and bringing people in. Not only is it more productive - it’s more fun too!
- Accept the compliment - I’m learning to just say ‘thank you’ when somebody says something nice, either at home or at work. Because what I’m doing is important.
- This too shall pass - Like everything in parenthood, and in life, knowing it is just a season, and a normal regression for progression helps. I eventually got back to performing at the standard I always had, arguably better with the new skills that motherhood equipped me with (empathy, prioritisation, multi-tasking, etc.). I also did eventually sleep again. So trust the process!
It’s so important to support parents who are re-entering the workforce. What helped you ease back into work after becoming a parent?