In Office after Maternity- I
Suddenly the place you have spent your days, afternoons, evenings and sometimes even nights (depending on the shift you worked), seem so unfamiliar to you, isn’t it? You are not alone. Welcome to the second innings of your career.
All women joining back work after a long leave of maternity feel the way. People seem different, colleagues may have changed a project or two, new faces in the team and ‘Hello’, who knows if you will be in the same team?
Not a lot of things will change for most of you but you can try to make easier on yourself. Here’s what you can possibly do:
In smaller organizations, the chances of you joining back the same team are pretty high because there aren’t too many teams to begin with. Contact your supervisor at least two weeks before you plan to join.
Larger organizations have a team for deployment or resource management and HR. Keep the concerned HR and RMG informed in advance about your joining plan.
In both cases, you are giving the organization a chance to prepare for your arrival so they can find an appropriate project/team for you.
In Office after Maternity- II
Often when women join back after having a baby, it is more of heartache than a nostalgia to think of acclimatizing in this new war zone aka your office. Not to mention that there is another war zone at home waiting for you when you get back.
But this is part of life. Don’t treat yourself as any different. In the earliest of ages, also women went back to work in the fields along with men for agriculture, after delivering a child. So spare yourself the guilt of being “modern”.
But it certainly doesn’t hurt to garner a bit of help in the organization which can make this transition easier for you. And trust me, there are people across different roles who are genuinely interested in helping you (“help” NOT “sympathize”).
But know for yourself what help you may need. You may need help with brushing up on some critical policies (which may have changed during your absence). Many organizations have a reorientation session conducted by HR for situations like these.
Your colleagues are people who you will spend maximum time with while at the office. See if you can get help to share work. Eg: you can take the 8:30 am call for your colleague and ask her to take the 7:00 pm call for you.
In Office after Maternity- III
Help comes to those who ask for it. Think with clarity for a minute or two – what can people around you do to extend a helping hand.
You are a new mom, great. You feel special and on top of the world, great. But don’t exert yourself too much to be a supermom. Trust me, no one is. We all try to though. But too much exertion and “I will do everything” attitude will make you exhausted faster. So learn to split work, divide responsibilities. Can you ask someone in the family to drop your child to the daycare and you picked her up on your way back from office?
Talking about which, Daycare is not a social evil. It is a place where professionals look after your child while you work as much as the child’s father is working. In fact, it is better than nannies at home who are neither professionally trained nor can be completely trusted. In a daycare, you can see your child through a live camera at all times. Get reviews from mothers who have used the facility before.
Almost all daycares provide food to babies as per nutritional requirements that pediatrician quotes. You can always provide the extra amount and fill up the gap (if any) at home.
In Office after Maternity- IV
I have read several articles on women not being good negotiators. Although I do NOT agree with the explanation being – women are very accomodating, I do believe that women do not ask for what they deserve.
But remember, after you are about to start a new inning in your career with a little baby at home, you need to ask for things where you need support, help, and guidance. It’s not going to come to you for free. The society hasn’t evolved that much yet.
So be a hard negotiator. Don’t be irrational but if you cannot do a night shift at this phase and your organization has day shift work, then be very clear about your requirement.
If you think that taking up a particular project will require you to travel for long hours then ask for something where you can use the same time at work or with your baby, instead of on the road.
Nobody is doing you a ‘favor’ by allowing you to work. You have earned it. All you are asking for is a harmonious system that enables you to wade through this tough phase.
In-Office after Maternity- V
Settling down in your office after a long leave can be very difficult for a number of reasons both professional and personal. But it is inevitable.