Until you have a baby and experience the mixture of emotions, it is difficult to know what it will feel like returning to work. With two children, I remember thinking it will all be fine, baby can go into nursery and I will go back to my job and it will all be the same as it was before. Little did I know that it wasn’t as straightforward as that. Lack of sleep combined with guilt about leaving my baby daughter didn’t help the transition. Having support during this time is critical to the success of the transition and return.
Parenthood brings real changes to lifestyle, emotions and logistics. Things that I hadn’t even considered before being a Mum. Having been there we know what it’s like and can help women planning on going back to the workplace deal with the changes and make the transition so much easier. We work closely with the London-based Executive Coaching Consultancy, who were the first to develop and launch a Maternity Coaching Programme in the UK. Our maternity coaching offers one-to-one support for women before, during and after maternity leave.
Last year we coached Jane, a first time Mum who worked in a senior position for a financial services company. Jane held a Director role and was responsible for a number of teams within the organisation, she had decided to take twelve months maternity leave. During the first few months of her maternity leave Jane was checking in with her team and still thinking about projects. Gradually she began to enjoy the experience of being a new Mum. As it got closer to the time Jane had to return to work, she started panicking, wondering how on earth she was going to cope with the pressure of work and a baby. How could she stay late to attend meetings? How could she leave her baby for five days a week and only see her baby boy for a very few hours at the start and end of the day? Doubt then began to creep in about her abilities and abilities to cope with work.
With coaching before she left, during her leave and on her return, Jane managed to build on her strengths, identify what she had learnt whilst on maternity leave (how much better she was at multi-tasking, time-management and being able to let go of the small things that used to be a big deal for her before) and reorganise her work life balance.
Maternity coaching also benefits employers. Having women returning to work that are ready to take on their roles again and perform well is crucial to everyone, including other team members. Going back into a team takes time to adjust for all. Coaching can facilitate a faster return to productivity and will help retain female talent in the workforce.
There is more information about the benefits of maternity coaching on our web site. If you would like to have a chat with us about what is involved and how it might help your transition back into the workplace, please contact us, we would be happy to talk you through the process.