Being a working Mum that is juggling a career and a family can be overwhelming. Mums say that returning to work after a break feels “completely different”. They struggled and felt totally unprepared, and there is a disconnect between what women expect when they return to work and the reality.
Some Mums feel a personal lack of confidence and a sense of not feeling like they belong anymore, whereas others feel like it’s a chance for a reset. They ask themselves, “do I even want to go back to the job I had because I feel like a different person now”. Recognise that these feelings are completely normal, and that your successes are from your hard work and abilities not just “luck”.
Talking to your manager and co-workers will help you to overcome the stigma of taking a break. Let them know what you need, understand the corporate culture you are in and talk to other employees with children so that you can be aware of any unspoken rules.
Play to your strengths, this will help build your inner confidence and trust with others. You are still you; many women experience a drop in confidence; but nobody can take away your inherent talent or previous experiences. Seek feedback on your strengths, skills and what sets you apart from those close to you like family and friends, often you are your own harshest critics so listening to others may help divert from negative thoughts. Live your values and lean into your strengths in what you do and your interactions with others. Set new goals for yourself and establish your presence.
Keeping in Touch days lets employees stay up to date with their workplace, refresh their skills and assist their transition back to work. It can be used for on-the-job training, taking part in a planning meeting, attending a conference, or doing work familiar with your role before returning to work.
You have just been through an enormous life change, it is okay to find it hard, that doesn’t mean you’re not doing it right. It just means that you might need to take proper breaks, get into a routine and practice monotasking. Trust yourself and reach out for help if you need it. Focus on mindfulness, deep breathing, eating healthy and drinking plenty of water. It is time to reconnect with yourself, you are still the same professional person you always were, you just need some time to readjust, things will get better.
When working Mums have a space to share their concerns, through open conversations driven by empathy and compassion, it lifts the pressure off so that they can experience the best of both worlds – being a good employee and a good Mum!
If you found this information helpful, have a look at out previous blog – Empowering Women Returning to the Workplace – 5 Tips for Employers.
But you don’t have to be the expert – let us support you! Through our Empathy and Self-Compassion – for Professionals and Setting Health Boundaries in the Workplace workshops, we can help empower women returning to the workplace.
Or book a free discovery call to find out how we can best support you and your team.