The thought of going back to work may be daunting after being at home with the little one, and new moms might struggle with regaining their confidence. Coming back from maternity leave shouldn’t be a weakness at all. Women can juggle both a career and being a mother among many other natural roles like being a friend, sister and wife. When a woman looks at her role of being a mother as equal or even more than the role that she plays in the office or boardroom, a woman can naturally feel empowered without necessarily requiring tips to repair or fix herself. It’s a matter of perspective. Bringing a child into the world is both a miracle and magic. When I had my two children, I felt super confident, like I could conquer the world!

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If a new mom is feeling stuck and lacking confidence;

  1. she can hang around other working moms for support, just to find out how they juggle roles and how they cope with exhaustion and separation anxiety. Being in a group of people who are facing similar life experiences will give her new advice, new ideas and the feeling that she is not alone and that this is something that’s doable. She can join online working mom groups.
  2. If her concerns are more physical, she can join a gym and work out to get back in shape. A new hair cut, or new wardrobe can also do wonders for a working mom.

Self-doubt may also be another challenge, she may think that she can’t do it, maybe she now only sees herself as a mom and not as a competent career woman, she can overcome this and step into the corporate space as her best self.

  1. It will help to remember the days before she became a mom, to remember that she is still the same person and that she can still juggle both roles just like she has always been multi-tasking.
  2. To take some time looking at some of her past work e.g. presentations or projects and how she was able to meet deadlines and excel in her career.
  3. To occasionally chat with her employers, immediate superiors or colleagues to get updates on what’s happening in the office, what changed and what the current goals or targets are. What she can expect when she comes back to the office and what will be expected of her.
  4. She can also re arrange her office space at work, even if its moving the desk around or moving the stationery around, cleaning out the dust and cobwebs or redecorating the office as a declaration of newness, and a statement to say I’m back, I’m full of energy and I’m ready to take on the world! It’s always important to get a different feel of our environment.
  5. It also helps to get constant and honest feedback even when she goes back to work, about how she is doing, where she can improve, so as to evaluate her own performance and implement the necessary changes. Such an open approach is helpful so that she does not take any criticism personally and does not feel offended if her work standards are deemed to be a little different. I’m also assuming she will be working in a family friendly environment, with people who are understanding and flexible.
  6. To get help at home with the baby for example, a nanny or a family member to alleviate much of the load of caring for baby while she focuses on her career.
  7. If getting a nanny, to use a reputable agency and ensure she gets someone who’s well trained and vetted to ensure a long-term stable service.

It will be crucial for her to connect with the person she was before she went on maternity leave, to focus on the positive, to remember a time when she was excelling at work and to believe that she can be that person again even if it means recreating the familiar productive atmosphere. The only difference being that, because of baby, she will constantly need to check in at home to find out how they are doing, there will be days when baby is not well etc,

  1. it’s a matter of time management and managing her priorities well. For example to tick off the important things in the morning, catch up on other things like how baby is doing over lunch, then plan her next day in advance in the afternoon when it is quieter.
  2. She can even do some of her work over the weekend to ease up the weekday load or where she has to go to work half day because of mummy commitments, she can catch up in the evening at home if it’s possible. Therefore, setting up an effective home office corner will be another good idea.
  3. Reviewing her personal life and daily activities will also help, to cut back on some of the not so urgent or not so important stuff like time spent on social media or those cocktails with the girls so as to free up her time to attend to baby or her work.
  4. However that does not mean that she will stop having fun, it helps once in a while to let loose and have fun! It helps the mind relax and open way for fresh inspiration!
  5. Instead of viewing baby as a distraction or hindrance, on the bright side, the baby becomes all the more reason for her to work harder! Why not hang pictures of her baby in her office for that extra mummy excitement and motivation!

The skills learnt as a new mom are invaluable! Instead of viewing maternity leave as time away from the office she could reframe the experience as a learning curve for patience, resilience, teamwork, the ability to multi task etc.

Having a baby changes a woman, she learns how to be organized, how not to be forgetful, how to make mental lists at 2am! How to be brave, to look after someone and have their life and wellness depend on you is nothing short of superwoman! A woman learns to be patient and to be a fighter and protecter. She learns how to do several things at once. It is with this view and these skills that going back into the office, with the right mindset and the right support, a woman can excel at home and at work. No one said it will be easy. But it certainly is doable.

 

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