Mama’s Returning to Work
Recently, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Dr. Linda Shanti McCabe for her telesummit,”The Recovery Mama”. Dr. Shanti McCabe’s interview questions reminded me how important is is for new moms to have some time to think about what they want and need before they go back to work.
After supporting hundreds of moms returning to work after having a baby, I’d like to share some of my guidance with you.
- Think about when you want to return to work after having a baby. Have a plan, and if your plan changes after your baby arrives, meaning you want more time with your baby, then make sure to reach out and ask what is possible. If one option is unpaid time off, really pause and think with your partner (if you are not a single parent), if you could adjust your budget and take the time off to spend more time with your precious little one. Do not make any assumptions;really look at your numbers. Where could you cut back? Where could you get creative? What is the payoff to you for having more time off?
- Ask, ask, and ask some more. I often see moms and women for that matter not ask for what they want. The ironic thing about motherhood is you just don’t know what it will be like to be a mom until your baby arrives. You can guess, you can dream, and you can hope, but only experience can truly tell you. Because of this reality, some moms would rather not go back to work full time. If this is you and you work for an organization, then I highly encourage you to ask your boss if you could work part-time for a while or permanently.
- Here is the truth: you never know what is possible until you ask. I have seen so many moms think their boss would never go for it but then become utterly surprised when they get a yes. The thing is that companies/organizations do not want to lose you. They know the value you add, and losing you means losing money–approximately your salary or your salary and a half. This is because it takes resources to find candidates, interview and hire them, and then typically 6 months to train that person to do your job. Remember, you have a lot of value to negotiate what you want.
- Lastly, there is no right or wrong when it comes to motherhood and work. Some moms work only as moms (unpaid work). Some moms work part time, and some moms work full time. Where ever you land on this spectrum, know it is just right. We do way too much comparing in this society, so trust yourself and your choices. You know what is best for you and your child. Just think, in the 1950s only 19% of moms worked outside the home. Today 77% work outside the home. We are still learning and figuring it all out. Trust yourself and your choices no matter what. I know this is a way larger topic in general, but I want to simply emphasis that your choice matters.
If you are needing support as you return to work, let me know. One of my favorite things to do is coach moms in thinking about what they want for their life, motherhood, and work.