Coming back to work from maternity leave is a challenge. It’s hard enough leaving your baby with someone else during those first few months. But then there are the sleepless nights, finding a back-up sitter for those last minute appointments, and figuring out the nursing thing.
I went through this four months ago. After a few months of part-time maternity leave, I’m now adjusted to balancing motherhood and fulltime work.
The key to having a successful return to work is all in the planning before baby comes. Whether you manage women in your workplace, or are pregnant yourself, here are some tips to make the transition the best it can be:
When you announce, have a plan – Know your employers’ maternity leave policy and if they are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act. Try to have a plan in place for when you will take maternity leave and when you will return. And, have a feel for what your schedule will be like when you are back at work.
Know who will cover for you – Work with your supervisor to determine who should take over your responsibilities while out. Then, make sure to train who ever is going to cover for you. I scheduled meetings with those people before I had my baby to ensure they knew exactly what to do on each client account – and, I kept my supervisor in the loop.
Stay organized – I created a spreadsheet of all the activities I was responsible for and kept it updated frequently. In fact, when it got closer to my baby’s due date, I updated the spreadsheet nightly so if I were to go to the hospital in the middle of the night, I wouldn’t have to worry about my work getting done.
There are so many more things to think about when returning to work from maternity leave, so here are some more tips.