8 tips for going back to work after maternity leave
More women nowadays are focusing on their careers and having children later. In 2020, the median age of first-time mothers in Singapore was 31. More women are giving birth in their forties as well. This means working women are having babies while their careers are getting off the ground.
Women who go back to work after maternity leave have new ambitions and goals – including ones that reflect the needs of their children. Yet, it can be challenging for mothers to swap household duties when work calls. This Pacific Prime Singapore article offers eight tips to help you prepare for this new chapter of your career.
Tips for working moms with babies
Going back to work after maternity leave can feel like you’re leaving your comfort zone. While you were on maternity leave, you developed a daily routine and adapted to your newborn’s schedule. However, now you have to navigate working full-time with a newborn.
Your success lies in your ability to balance your responsibilities at work and at home. Here are some of our top tips to help make it easier.
1. Reconnect with your team
Even if you’re returning to the same employer you worked with before giving birth, you’re going to have to re-establish contact. Your manager likely has new goals while your colleagues work on strategies to overcome new challenges. Get a feel for what you’re stepping back into by asking about the company’s current state of affairs and what’ll be expected of you. You can also talk with colleagues to better understand what’s going on and how you can help achieve common goals.
2. Come up with an elevator pitch
If you’re looking for work, an elevator pitch is crucial in helping an employer understand the level of workload you can manage and the tasks you can complete. Make sure to include who you are, what kind of job you’re after, what your skills are, and what working conditions you’re willing to accept. Providing comprehensive information will help your employer evaluate whether it’s the right fit, so be prepared for any outcome.
3. Consider your schedule
During maternity leave, you got to know the needs, habits, and schedule of your newborn. This includes mealtimes, how long it takes to prepare in the morning, vaccination schedules, and more. You need to think about how to fit these activities into your work schedule, as well as whether they’ll affect your productivity.
Be honest with yourself about your abilities and choose the best type of employment to reflect that. For instance, you might want to avoid working full time if you’re going to breastfeed your child multiple times a day. Even though your employer may be understanding, biting off more than you can chew can lead to employee burnout and potentially damage your professional reputation.
4. Look for part-time or remote opportunities
Swapping maternity leave for a 9-to-5 schedule can be stressful for both you and your newborn. Working part-time can help you ease back into the workforce. Limiting your working hours also enables you to get into the workflow and still care for your family. Similarly, working remotely allows you to work with your child close by.
Are you wondering how to balance working from home and being a parent? It’s important to make sure you do your work and don’t get distracted. Remote working requires self-discipline, organization, and time management skills.
5. Think about the location
Even though the location of the place you work shouldn’t be the main factor when accepting a job, you’ll want to prioritize offers closer to home. Being near home can save you time and stress in case of emergencies and lower your travel and meal expenses. Plus, knowing that you can quickly go home if anything comes up gives you peace of mind and helps you focus on work.
6. Look for a family-friendly employer
Some employers are more family-friendly than others. Your goal is to find an employer who understands you can’t work overtime or go on a business trip on short notice. These days, many modern companies recognize the challenges mothers face when looking for job opportunities. This makes it easier to find vacancies that are better suited to your requirements. Keep an eye out for employers that prioritize family-friendly employee benefits like family insurance in Singapore.
7. Have someone you can rely on
You might be great at balancing your work and family responsibilities, but there can still be times when an emergency comes up and you need help. Let’s say your baby gets a high temperature while you’re in the middle of a busy workday. You’ll have to ask for a temporary absence, pick up your child, go to the doctor, and rush back to work. Rollercoasters like these can affect your work performance and your baby. Fortunately, these situations can be avoided if you have a nanny, relative, or close friend you can rely on.
8. Test the waters
Once you’ve created your schedule and organized a nanny or childcare, the next step is to see how things work in real life. To do a proper trial run, you have to step back from childcare responsibilities for a few days. If your working hours will be from 10 am to 4 pm, then stick to this timeframe during the trial run.
How you choose to spend this time is entirely up to you, as long as you leave childcare to someone else. You might want to brush up on some skills for work or have a movie marathon. Whatever you do, don’t constantly check up on your child. This way, you’ll be better prepared when you’re in the office and more trusting of the person who’s looking after your little one.
Bonus tip: Be kind to yourself
When you first go back to work after maternity leave, you may feel overwhelmed and alienated. This transition period can happen regardless of whether you’re returning to your former employer or starting somewhere new. Be kind to yourself at this time. A new chapter just takes some getting used to, but you’ll adapt to the changes in no time.
Secure the best health insurance for you and your family
Whether you’re looking for family health insurance, maternity health insurance in Singapore, or newborn health insurance in Singapore, Pacific Prime Singapore is here to help. With over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, we have the knowledge and expertise to help you find a suitable plan for your needs and budget. Contact us for a free plan comparison and impartial advice today.