Returning to work after having a baby

A large number of parents would prefer to stay at home with their children yet the reality is that due to financial burdens it is simply not an option and there maybe psychological hurdles for the mother to overcome during the returning period. Of course many women also want to go back work but still face criticism for not wanting to be with the children 24/7.

It is no secret that we live in a society that is obsessed with the ‘having it all’ debate. This can cause huge pressure on working mothers yet we must remember to treat ourselves as an individual rather than a statistic; only you know what the right decision for you is. Have confidence in your ability to pick the right path and make the right decisions for your family.

2014 is a breakthrough year for women in the working world, with more career opportunities open to women than ever before, and a lot of women are grabbing all the opportunities they can, especially in our current economic climate.

“Generally speaking women in their thirties and forties increasingly want to return to work after a period at home with the kids, but on a part-time or flexi basis which isn’t always suitable for top management positions. We are also now seeing an influx of women returning to work, but crucially having been circumvented for top executive positions, these women are instead often choosing to set up their own businesses with vigour, energy and determination.
Working vs full time home-making is of course an explosive conversation piece. There is a terrible circle of judgement between mothers who are considered cold if they wish to return to work as soon as possible, and women who are considered weak or lacking ambition because they wish to be with their children as much as possible.

Tips for mothers returning to work:-

1. Perhaps the most dominant concern is the initial fear of being separated from the baby. A close intimate relationship is a vital part of the bonding process between mother and child and yes it can cause separation anxiety when first disrupted, yet it is important to remember that this gradual detachment is a normal and important developmental adaption that will help the child become more independent in later years.

2. Returning to previous work can bring with it challenges to our self-esteem. Having been away for several months or years you may feel like the ‘new kid’ at school again and perhaps that work related things have moved on. Remember that it is natural to feel unnerved in such a situation. Reassure yourself that it is completely normal to feel uncomfortable in the first couple of weeks but we are creatures of adaption and you will soon slot back into a routine that feels familiar.

3. Additionally, you may worry that changes have been made in your absence that you may not be able to cope with. Ensure your family, friends and partner knows that you are worried so that they can reassure you. It should be a positive thing to have some independence and a separate life away from home.

4. In cases where you are looking to start a new job after having a baby I would suggest brainstorming a list beforehand of everything that is unique about you. Asking family and friends what your positive attributes are is a great way of finding out how others view you. Walking into an interview room with a clear idea of your strengths will help you to ‘sell’ yourself to the employer.

5. Remember that becoming a mother has equipped you with fantastic life skills that are transferrable to the workplace such as time management and the ability to juggle a million jobs at once! Having a child is a life changing experience and many say that they feel a different person as a result including more patient and more empathetic.


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Dr Lynda Shaw

Dr Lynda Shaw, a cognitive neuroscientist and chartered psychologist specialising in the psychology of ageing and business improvement. A hugely popular speaker with an innovative, practical and immediately applicable approach, Dr Shaw offers insights into a variety of relevant and often controversial issues.

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Dr Lynda Shaw, a cognitive neuroscientist and chartered psychologist specialising in the psychology of ageing and business improvement. A hugely popular speaker with an innovative, practical and immediately applicable approach, Dr Shaw offers insights into a variety of relevant and often controversial issues.