Your return to work: Laura

Every month I publish a guest post from a mum who has been through returning to the workplace after maternity leave. We all have individual experiences, situations, ambitions and so on. There is no one way or right way, just what is best for you and your family. I hope by sharing a range of stories there will be something that mums on maternity leave and thinking about their return to work can relate to.
This post is written by Laura who is a learning and development manager, executive and leadership coach and mum of two boys aged 9 and 7. She is passionate about inclusive leadership and creating working environments that are nurturing and compassionate. You can find out more about Laura here.

Question 1. How did you feel about your return to work in the lead up to it?

I have two children and returning to work felt very different for each of them.

With my oldest, I was returning to the same organisation but in a new role that I really wanted. I’d managed to negotiate 4 days a week and felt confident that I could do the job. However, the downside was that my son was only 9months old and I felt such guilt and worry about leaving him at nursery.

With my second, I went back when he was 1 and into a 3 day a week role. However, I had to take a demotion due to the inflexibility of the company back then (2016). That was pretty demoralising but meant that I was able to ‘phone it on’ and not take any work stress home!

Question 2. What were the biggest challenges or worries that you had about your return to work?

I think it was the not knowing how it would feel to be away from the kids. The constant tug of home and work life responsibilities and trying to do everything really well! Not possible in hindsight…

Question 3. Is there anything that would have helped your transition back to the workplace?

More understanding from my employers on flexible and home working, it just wasn’t an option then and I didn’t know or feel able to ask. I think more confidence in what I was capable of, a reminder of my strengths and that becoming a mum actually makes you more resilient and a great asset to your workplace!

Question 4. What tips would you give to other mums who are currently on maternity leave and preparing for their return to work?

Ask for help! I really didn’t and I wish I’d reached out for support, there is so much available – from advice to coaching and training.

Thank you so much Laura!

I hope you found reading about Laura’s experience helpful. If you are on maternity leave and would like to return to work with confidence, you can get my free guide with some top tips so you can prepare yourself.
All the best,
PS. Do you know a mumma who might find this post helpful? Why not share it with her.

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