How to Know You Are Ready for Work After Parental Leave
How do you know that the time is right for you to go back to work?
For some mothers, the urge to go back to work is already there, signalling they are ready for it. However, even if the desire is there, there are many concerns that plague mums when deciding to end their parental leave. These include questions such as: Will my job change now that I am a mother? Will I be overwhelmed when I go back? How will my child feel about me not being there? Will I be able to balance work and family? Do I have the best childcare?
We have put together a list of signs that will help you know if you are ready to go back to work:
1. You want to
There is the niggling feeling that something is missing. Many women who work exclusively at home feel they are not intellectually stimulated. It is important mothers return to work of their own free will and are not being forced by external constraints, such as partners or their environment.
2. You are free of doubt
Believing in yourself and your family is important to have a pleasant return to work. If you have no doubt that the return to work will be a success, then you will do everything you can to make it work. It is important to get rid of any feelings of guilt first.
3. You have clear ideas
Having clear ideas in your mind of what returning to work will look like is another sign you are ready. However, for many mothers, returning to work can be a very different reality to what they were expecting. It is important to avoid surprises and know what workload you are going back to. This means you should have your responsibilities worked out in advance with your department head.
4. The job is the right fit
Ideally, your job will fit your needs. Of course, it is not always possible to choose your perfect hours or decide how your manager will respond to your needs, but feeling understood in your work can be a huge help in the transition back after parental leave.
5. The children are taken care of
Making sure your children are looked after is perhaps the biggest concern for mothers going back to work. Knowing your child is in good care when you are gone will be a huge factor in making the decision to go back to work. Whether you choose daycare, a nanny or a babysitter, if you have reliable and consistent childcare, you will go back to work calmer.
6. Your partner supports you
Many mothers feel like they are no longer on a level playing field with their partners by the end of their maternity leave. This is often a reason for returning to work. It is important that your partner supports you in your decision. You should make this decision and come up with your plan together.
While it may be difficult, it is best if new mothers do not ask themselves “why will this not work?” Instead, ask yourself “why will this work?” If you focus on what could go wrong, you will find many reasons why work and family life don’t seem compatible. It is best to look at it with a positive point of view and accept that there will be some mistakes along the way.
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