September 2022 - I find myself at the end of my maternity leave.
It all feels a bit surreal. ‘How did that happen?’ I ask myself. It went so quick. I panic at the thought that I didn’t embrace every moment enough and how I am going to manage working full time while also caring for my family. I then take a deep breath and remind myself of the key word I regularly use since becoming a mum - transition.
From being pregnant, becoming a mum and navigating your way through babies' first year, each element of parenthood is a transition - a process you must take on, ride the wave and be grateful when you look back and see how far you and baby have come.
With my return to work, this was going to be another transition for myself and my family. I focused on three key things to adjust myself to the new routine.
Like most recruiters, I love a to-do list and what better way to organise myself than with a home life to-do list. With my mental load at full capacity, visually seeing what had to be done to start off each day right was a huge help. If I made sure I was organised with school bags, clothes, coats and keys the night before, I knew it would help with making the morning rush a little smoother.
Be prepared for the unexpected! With returning to work comes childcare and with that comes alot of sickness. A fever in the middle of the night or a phone call from creche saying your little one is unwell is going to disrupt your working week. If possible, try to have back up for childcare if your baby is unwell or alternatively it is a good idea to have an open conversation with your manager about flexibility and how they can support you.
When you go back to work you may feel that it is hard to juggle it all and to get the balancing act right between work and family life, but always remember to be kind to yourself. You are doing the best you can for you, your family and your job. When you are at work, try not to let the guilt of being away from your child take over. Enjoy the adult interaction, the professional conversations and the hot cup of coffee in peace. Subsequently, when you are back at home for the evening or weekend, remember to switch off from work, enjoy the time with your family, take time for yourself and don’t forget the to-do list for the week ahead!
Morgan McKinley has been a fantastic support on my return to work. They have allowed me to design a working life that balances perfectly with my priorities at home, which is so important to my family and I. The significant benefit of a staggered working schedule for your first month was also a huge help with my transition. I want to thank my manager, my team, HR and all my colleagues who have been so helpful and welcoming.
If you would like to join a company who puts people at the heart of what it does, especially when it comes to work life balance, please feel free to reach out to me. I would love to hear from you!